Patti Radle, recently elected president of the San Antonio Independent School District Board of Trustees, is no stranger to controversy surrounding her refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Nearly four years ago, Radle’s decision to not recite the pledge at SAISD meetings received its first wave of criticism.
“It came up then, it was quieted, understood that it was for religious or spiritual reasons,” Radle said, according to KABB. “It’s no disrespect to anyone else.”
But at a special May 29 meeting, a fellow school board member brought up the issue as Radle was set to become the board’s next president, following then president Ed Garza’s departure.
“Mrs. Radle refuses to salute our flag, and it is my right to say that I cannot support a person who does not salute our flag,” Trustee Olga Hernandez said before the board, according to the Rivard Report.
Hernandez also spoke of her father, a WWII veteran, and said that the pledge is a way of honoring the county’s veterans.
Radle told KABB that she respects her father, who served in the Navy, and her two brothers who fought in Vietnam.
“My allegiance is to the word of God and that is all that I’m interested in, in pledging my life to…to love everyone regardless of borders, regardless of where they come from,” Radle said.
Board meetings, commencing with the reciting of the pledge and the Texas Pledge of Allegiance (Radle recites neither), took a different turn this time when Garza called for the pledges not to be recited. Ironically, Hernandez herself was not opposed to the measure.
At the meeting, six trustees voted for Radle to become the next board president, while Hernandez was the sole member voting against her.
Radle was elected to the SAISD Board of Trustees in May 2011.
The SAISD is a “policy-making body”, where each of the seven trustees represent single-member districts, and are elected by voters of that district, according to the SAISD webpage.