School board members in Sioux Falls, S.D. are blaming a reporting error by CBS affiliate KELO for sparking national controversy on the role of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools, according to the Argus Leader:
Some board members and their families say they’ve received threats after a Nov. 12 vote that requires middle schools to recite the Pledge daily. A group of veterans wanted the district to make it mandatory in high schools as well, and national media coverage of the issue has brought a flurry of complaints.[…] Board members blamed what they called a misleading news story by KELO-TV as the original source of misinformation; the news station, which did not cover the meeting in person, reported that the board had voted to end the practice of saying the Pledge in high school. KELO corrected the headline and its story, but some board members say they took too long to do so.
The school board did vote unanimously not to require high school students to take the Pledge of Allegiance, but contrary to KELO’s report, the vote upheld the current policy, which has been in place since the 1970s.
The president of the school board told KELO that board members are “getting bombarded with calls and emails … from people who think we took it out of the high school.” As NewsBlues notes, KELO reported on the subsequent firestorm without noting that its own reporting had played a part in the outrage.
The school board vote has received national attention from Fox News, the Blaze and the Associated Press. [h/t NewsBlues]