El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser and District 6 City Representative Claudia Rodriguez | Photo courtesy SISD
Students at Benito Martinez Elementary had a special surprise recently when El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser and District 6 City Representative Claudia Rodriguez showed up to present them with certificates as a thank you for leading the Pledge of Allegiance at a recent city council meeting.
The Pre-K through 2nd grade students were the first group to do the Pledge of Allegiance at the city council meetings since the start of the pandemic when everything was forced to go virtual.
“We came to thank the kids for an outstanding job doing the Pledge of Allegiance,” Rodriguez said. “When COVID hit we stopped doing the pledge because everything went virtual and it kind of got put on the backburner, so we decided it was time to bring back the pledge at the beginning of our city meetings.”
Rodriguez said when she brought up a need to reinstate the pledge Mayor Leeser and city council members allowed her to select the first school. She chose Benito Martinez Elementary first because it is where her own children attend school and because she said it is only appropriate since the school’s mascot is the patriot.
Mayor Leeser said it was important to visit and personally thank the students for performing the first Pledge of Allegiance for the first time since he took office.
“It’s important to be able to talk to the children and for them to be able to see our city leaders,” Mayor Lesser said. “They had some incredibly great questions and that’s the important part. I’m very grateful for this opportunity.”
The students recited the pledge for the city council meeting live from their school gym and it was shared at the meeting via Microsoft Teams.
“I was honored that my students got to do the pledge for the city,” said Benito Martinez Elementary School principal Greg Hatch. “We’re the patriots, so who better than the patriots to kick off the pledge of allegiance at the first city council meeting? It was an awesome opportunity and something our kids will always remember.”
During the Mayor’s visit to the school, students were given the opportunity to ask him a variety of questions, including what his daily work routine looks like and what his level of authority is in comparison to the United States President.
“I asked if the mayor had a higher level than the President and he said nobody has a higher level than the President,” said second grade student Isabella Ramirez.
Ramirez said she was initially nervous because she had never met the mayor.
“It was cool to perform for city hall,” she said. “It was neat because the mayor was watching.”
Second grade student Carlos Delgado was also happy to meet the mayor and to have the opportunity to ask him questions. He was proud to have recited the Pledge of Allegiance to start the city council meeting.
“It’s important for us to know the pledge to honor our country,” Delgado said.