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updated: 1/18/2013 11:05 AM

No criminal charges in Geneva school pledge incident

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Kane County State's Attorney's Joe McMahon has decided not to file any criminal charges in connection with a parent's behavior last week at Mill Creek Elementary School in Geneva.

The parent of two students had protested how kindergartners said the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a school pledge. He thought they skipped saying the word "liberty," and that the school pledge should have been said separately from the flag pledge, without students facing the flag with their hands over their hearts.

District officials said he used language "that is not typically heard in a school setting," in front of the kindergartners.

Later that day, he sent an email to school officials and some other parents of students, continuing to protest and pointing out that as a military veteran, he had shed blood before, and would be willing to do again to defend the United States.

Kane County Sheriff's deputies investigated the incident.

"The individual in question in this case certainly showed a gross lack of judgment through his actions in Mill Creek Elementary School on Jan. 9. He compounded the situation by emailing a note about the incident to other school parents and by making additional statements about the incident via social media," McMahon said in a statement Friday.

"But his behavior, although inappropriate, irresponsible and lacking in even the most basic common sense, was not criminal conduct. The investigation revealed that the learning environment was never unlawfully disrupted, nor was the safety of the students, teachers or anyone else ever at risk."

The man has been banned from school property.

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