first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionI’m ashamed to be associated as an alumni of Niskayuna High School. I read in the Oct. 7 Gazette: “Niskayuna Central School District Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra Jr. issued a statement just after noon Friday stating that the national anthem will not be played at the high school pep rally Friday afternoon, as has been the custom in past years.The statement read in part: “After careful thought and consideration by our administration, and after meeting with members of our student body, it was decided that the national anthem would not be played as it has been in the past. This is an event focused on school spirit and unity, and there was a concern that given the intensity of this issue and the diversity of viewpoints, that this event could turn what is supposed to be a positive experience for our students into a negative one.”What a cowardly and unpatriotic statement. I’m calling for the immediate removal of Superintendent Tangorra. A person in that leadership role shouldn’t be in a position to influence our children. His statement claims that in the interest of the diversity of viewpoints, the anthem will not be played. Has he disregarded the viewpoint of the majority of students and Americans? Why is a patriotic viewpoint being discriminated? Why does he insist on soiling our freedom and flag and national pride by refusing to continue the traditional playing of the anthem at pep rallies? The students should be taught respect and honor, not encouraged to participate in an act of such disrespect. Freedom of speech is of utmost importance, but what the superintendant has done here is extinguish that freedom of speech. He’s denying the majority of the students rights to express their love of country when putting their hand over their heart while playing our anthem, as has been tradition.I will never support NHS fund-raisers or any other event sponsored by NHS until the superintendant has been removed or issues a statement of apology and reverses his deplorable, yes deplorable, actions banning our national anthem. His statement and actions are a disgrace and are cowardly. We all should be ashamed.Joseph WolfeOrmand Beach, Fla. (formerly of Niskayuna)More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectlast_img read more