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3rd UPDATE: Dad's Dispute Over School Pledge Prompts Police Presence at Mill Creek Elementary in Geneva

Kane County Sheriff's Office increases security presence at the school. Colin M. McGroarty sends message to School District 304, saying, "I've shed blood for this Country and will do so again if necessary."

2nd UPDATE: The parent has issued an apology on his public Facebook page.

UPDATE: The parent who took issue with the school's Pledge of Allegiance was issued a no-trespass order and is not allowed on school grounds.

GENEVA, IL -- A parent disrupted a kindergarten class Wednesday at Mill Creek Elementary School and later released a statement saying he will "shed blood" if necessary in a protest of the way the Pledge of Allegiance is recited at the school.

According to a letter to parents from Mill Creek Elementary Principal George Petmezas and a Geneva School District 304 press release, a parent identified as Colin M. McGroarty disrupted the class by using language "that is not typically heard in an elementary school setting," Petmezas' e-mail said.

The disturbance happened Wednesday afternoon in the library of the grade school at 0N900 Brundige Drive.

McGroarty's e-mail to Mill Creek parents is presented in full below and contains this sentence: "I've shed blood for this Country and will do so again if necessary." The e-mail was forwarded to Geneva Patch from several Mill Creek parents.

Kane County Sheriff's Office Lt. Pat Gengler said Thursday that officers are looking into the incident but no arrests have been made.

Gengler said the Sheriff's Office has had an officer at the school all day.

"Any time we have something at the schools, we take it seriously," he said. "Especially now, with Connecticut in the forefront of everybody’s minds, we’re going to take that extra step. We relocated a patrol there today because we want everybody to understand that while that school is close to the sheriff’s office, we want to reassure the parents of our commitment to the safety of our schools."

Gengler said sheriff's investigators met Wednesday with McGroarty and have been in contact with the Kane County State's Attorney's office regarding the case.

"One of the questions is: Is there anything criminal that occurred here to begin with? Without a doubt, this guy made some pretty off-the-wall statements, but are these statements criminal?" Gengler said.

Gengler said he believed the investigation would be wrapped up "pretty quickly" and the Sheriff's Office would issue a press release if any charges are filed.

In his e-mail to parents and guardians, Petmezas said the emotional conversation at the school was handled quickly, but as a precautionary measure, Petmezas notified the Kane County Sheriff’s Department and filed a police report.

"Later that evening, the same parent proceeded to email a select group of parents in our community and post a Facebook message charging Mill Creek Elementary School with reciting the Pledge of Allegiance incorrectly; stating that we are excluding the word 'Liberty' from the Pledge of Allegiance," the e-mail said. "I assure you that we have not excluded the word 'Liberty' from the Pledge."

Children in Illinois' public schools recite the Pledge of Allegiance in its full form, including the words "under God," despite some controversy about the pledge in other states, according to ProCon.org and Senate Bill 1634, signed by Gov. George Ryan in 2002, according to the Illinois Government News Network website.

That practice was confirmed Thursday by District 304 spokesperson Kelley Munch and underlined in Petmezas' e-mail to parents.

"We have been reciting the Pledge of Allegiance the same way since the school opened, which is the same way as I remember it as a child. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, our students also recite the Mill Creek Elementary School Creed," the letter said.

"The safety of all our students is of highest priority," Petmezas wrote. "Over the next few days, and in the future, you will notice an increased security presence at all of our elementary schools. We do not feel our students safety is at risk, and we are working cooperatively with the Sheriff’s department. The measures in place are purely precautionary."

A parent of a Mill Creek student who asked not to be identified said he talked to McGroarty after the incident.

"I feel comfortable that there is not a threat of violence toward the school," the parent said. 

 

Statement from School District 304

There was a disturbance in the Mill Creek Elementary School library on Wednesday afternoon involving a parent and the use of language that is not typically heard in a school setting. A kindergarten class was present at the time. The situation was quickly resolved in order to minimize the disruption to the academic process, and the Kane County Sheriff’s Department was notified.

On Wednesday evening, the same parent proceeded to email District Board members, administrators, and a select group of parents in the Mill Creek community and post a social media message charging Mill Creek Elementary School with reciting the Pledge of Allegiance incorrectly; stating that the word “Liberty” has been excluded from the Pledge of Allegiance. The word “Liberty” has not been excluded from the Pledge of Allegiance, which is recited daily by students and staff in all of Geneva’s schools. Following the Pledge of Allegiance at Mill Creek Elementary School, students also recite the Mill Creek Elementary School Creed, which states:

In order to develop good citizens,
We believe that every person should

  • Treat others with respect
  • Follow school and classroom rules
  • Try their best

The emails this parent sent, accompanied by the social media post prompted District officials to involve the Kane County Sheriff’s Department once again.

The safety of all our students is of highest priority, and there will be an increased police presence at all of our elementary schools today and in the future. We will continue to work cooperatively with local law enforcement.
School District officials will not make any additional comments on this incident.

Parents with questions or concerns are asked to contact their building administrator.

McGroarty's e-Mail

Dear School District 304,

As a courtesy I'm letting you know I've engaged the American Center for Justice and Law (ACLJ) as well as multiple conservative and verteran groups. I'm also contacting IL state legislators. 

I WILL NOT stand for my children standing in front of the flag, hand on heart, reciting a corrupted Pledge of Allegiance that leaves out "liberty" and has students stating they will obey all rules and commands of teachers. I witnessed this first hand today and am ashamed. You are teaching fascism plain and simple. My children will not grow up as blind followers who don't think for themselves.

I can think of no reason for having a separate pledge for kindergarteners and first graders then indoctrination of the young. Not going to happen on my watch. I've shed blood for this Country and will do so again if necessary.

My mother spent 12 years in a prison camp. I'm NOT ALLOWING you to introduce a Nazi way of life into the USA. 

 

Kind Regards,

Colin M. McGroarty MBA, MCSE

 

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User Name January 13, 2013 at 12:45 AM
Sounds like you know him. I'm sure the KCSO is doing a diligent job, which will be made much easier given Mr. McGroarty's penchant for publicity via the Internet. Thanks for your insight!
Dr January 13, 2013 at 12:49 AM
User Name - I wasn't there, and I don't think you were either, but I'm interpreting the "shedding blood if necessary" comment as meaning he served his country in the past and would do so again if necessary. I'm reading all these comments about threats and obscenities - I don't think that's the case. Was it uncomfortable? Probably. But you have to give the guy credit for standing up for his beliefs and having the courage to use his full name (unlike you and I)
User Name January 13, 2013 at 12:59 AM
I got the email from the school district that let us, as district parents, know what took place. I have no reason to believe that the school district misrepresented what took place, and I have seen the email that Mr. McGroarty sent to parents and district administrators and board members. I know who I choose to believe. After viewing his public Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, and YouTube page, I feel very confident in my choice to believe the school district's assessment of the situation and their response. I choose not to use my name because after what I have learned of Colin, I feel it is best to be anonymous rather than a victim if he goes off the deep end. After what happened in Connecticut, you can't be too careful these days. I applaud anyone who has served our country, including Mr. Mc Groarty, and thank them for their service to protect the freedom of speech that I am using right now.
J Longdong January 13, 2013 at 03:24 AM
Including the IDIOT teachers.........
Mike January 13, 2013 at 04:15 AM
Pussy
LC January 13, 2013 at 06:48 AM
Quite possibly "User Name" is "Private User's" new cover name. Gotta watch that electronic fingerprint. Lots of similarities.
Lee Carpenter January 13, 2013 at 01:52 PM
Thank's Melissa, that is the proper pledge and should not be altered at the risk of offending certain immigrant's who want to be American's and then complain that our Bill of Right's and our pledge's and National Anthem are unaceptable to them. My child's school district ommit's "God" and I went to the Principal and listen to some lame excuse, and now liberty is out? What's next, allegiance,flag,nation,indivisible and justice?
sieben13 January 13, 2013 at 02:33 PM
These nuts are coming out of the wood work
User Name January 13, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Really, LC? If you read through my comments you'll see that while "Private User" was continually defending Colin/himself regarding the incidence, I have done just the opposite. I don't defend his actions at all, and think he is a loose cannon. I said that how he handled the situation is not at all how a normal person would have handled it. I spoke to the fact that as a former kindergarten teacher, 5 and 6 year old children routinely mispronounce or omit words from the pledge, because they are just learning it. I pointed out to anyone who was defending his political rants that he can only use insults to defend his ideas rather than rational arguments. I choose to remain anonymous because I think this guy is a threat and I'd rather not be a victim.
juicebox January 13, 2013 at 03:01 PM
this sounds ultra dangerous
juicebox January 13, 2013 at 03:14 PM
profile research; pathological liar; rape victim as minor, multiple restraining orders before and after divorce, gun permit confiscated along with arms, unemployed, Rockford address is bogus, ex filed array of complaints concerning safety of their children, loner, history of sending threatening, malicious and slanderous emails, polar, manic, disturbed, high risk, frightening
Mrs. G. January 13, 2013 at 03:18 PM
I work in a school in NJ. We pledge to the flag. Afterwards, we recite a DIFFERENT "pledge" to help the children set the stage for the rest of the day. It has NOTHING to do with country, flag, liberty, or our freedoms. Here, we do it sitting at our seats well after the Pledge to the Flag has been completed. It really is a very innocent thing. Why such a procedure is getting so much attention is really interesting. I am saddened by the amount of time that was probably put into NOT educating the children, but rather putting out fires.
Mrs. G. January 13, 2013 at 03:28 PM
LC - if that is the case, he has multiple personalities. The posters you site seem to have opposite views.
juicebox January 13, 2013 at 03:35 PM
you are right its him commenting here. the only one who would defend this looney tune is the looney himself - how scary is that - my bud in kane c dist says parents are freaked. said he is in front of a judge on jan 31 ah ba de ah ba de that's all folks
KEVIN BARBER January 13, 2013 at 03:50 PM
we live in a fascist country where our government is bought and sold on many levels---i would not pledge allegiance to any of what is going on in this country--between an out of control military---all brain washed----to a totally corrupt media---to dems and reps just wanting to keep us under control cause too many of us do understand they are the bad guys-----we spend more $$$$ in this country killing other peoples kids world wide than we spend on our own problems here---this school has alot of gall making these kids recite the now " fascist oath "
User Name January 13, 2013 at 04:43 PM
LC, that doesn't even make sense if you read all if my posts. "PU" was constantly defending himself/Colin and throwing insults at anyone who challenged his point of view or claims. I've done the complete opposite, saying that no normal person would have reacted the way he did; that if you look at his Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube pages you will see exactly what kind of person you are dealing with. I also stated that I choose to remain anonymous because I think he's a loose cannon and I'd rather be anonymous than a victim when or if he goes off the deep end. The previous poster that claims to know Colin personally is right, he needs to be Baker Acted.
pat mitchell January 13, 2013 at 05:02 PM
patmitch73 Bga,i also wondered about his mom,s 12 yrs in a prison camp.somethings wrong
Independent Thinker January 13, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Can't have opinions of your own, the liberals hate that! They want the brainless rhetoric to spill out of your mouth at command. Independent thought, balk! It must kill you that all these "gun toting" maniacs that have been shooting up places come from these liberal strong holds. Young, entitled, undereducated, and angry = great combination.
nanja January 13, 2013 at 06:17 PM
Thia man is a loose cannon, he threatened to spill blood at his children's school, and the school and the police say they must "see if he commited a crime?" Are you kidding me? What are the cops going to wait for his murdering teachers and children before this guy is arrested? What will the pigs say then, oh we didn't think he MEAN IT! The incompetence of the police in this case is outstanding. If my child were in that school, I would remove him immediately. This man is dangerous and should be put in jail.
User Name January 13, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Really, JC? If you read through my comments you would realize that I haven't condoned anything that he did that day, that I've pointed out that I believe the school district's assessment and response to the situation was correct, and that when you review his Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube profiles you will see what you're dealing with. Not sure how that is "similar" at all.
bruce wagner January 13, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Maybe his child was a kindergartener and as such the parent was there as an invite. But what gets me is the over paranoia from people. His first sentence he states “I’ve engaged the American Center for Justice and Law (ACLJ) as well as multiple conservative and veterans groups. I'm also contacting IL state legislators" this is someone thinking with a rational mind. His statement "I've shed blood for this Country and will do so again if necessary" is showing he is a patriot and is willing to uphold the principles he has pledged his allegiance to. My guess that would be the Constitution of the United States but these are just my options. Namaste
CGWON January 13, 2013 at 08:38 PM
Oh thank you! I have a kindergartner and she doesn't say every word of the pledge correctly; my goodness children are ALLOWED to make mistakes, particularly in a school setting. I am so thankful that the school took the action they did. It's clear from checking out his facebook page that there are deeper issues going on, particularly with the ex wife and restraining order she has against him. As far as I know, restraining orders aren't just issued for no reason. Mr. McGroarty, if you are indeed reading this, please seek some counseling, if not for your sake then for the sake of your children.
rick January 13, 2013 at 09:30 PM
The school is educating HIS children. If that's not official business, I don't know what is.
rick January 13, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Do you have first hand knowledge of this incident? I see nowhere in this article where it states he was cursing in front of the class/
LC January 13, 2013 at 10:10 PM
Fair enough User Name. Glad we are on the same page in how this man is perceived. It was all a matter of perception...looking at accentuations, punctuations, etc...
juicebox January 13, 2013 at 11:16 PM
He mixes lies with the truth to try to confuse and defend his criminal behaviour and then defends that he was called out on it here. His comments here demonstrate he is a redundant SICK FK and needs professional care and isolation immediately. A major threat to little children. Ive read tis is not an isolated incident. There appears to to a history of threatening communications.
User Name January 13, 2013 at 11:32 PM
No problem, LC, but it made me sick to my stomach to be compared to him. The multiple responses were just because I wasn't seeing my original reply show up, so I thought it wasn't going through. Juicebox, where are you finding this information?
LC January 14, 2013 at 01:31 AM
User Name, I'm so sorry. I too, would feel sick to my stomach to be compared to him.That was not my intent. Good to move on now.
todd January 14, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Why do we even allow our children to say the pledge anyway, it was written by a socialist!
juicebox January 25, 2013 at 01:26 PM
there is no constitutional issue here, there is no military issue here, there is a threat issue here

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