Donna Garner’s Flag Accusation Debunked

A few weeks ago, Harmony Schools Advocates issued a statement that tells us the truth about "infamous" flag incident Donna Garner repeatedly mentions. It turned out that no trampling of the U.S. flag happened as Donna Garner claimed. Read the story yourself.

"My children have been attending Harmony for three years. My daughter is in this picture. She is the tall blonde on the right hand side of the picture. Three of her best friends are also in this picture. They were all in 8A at the time.

Here’s what happened. Do you see how two girls are holding a large US flag and the other girls are holding smaller US flags? As a part of the dance routine, each girl was hiding a tiny US flag inside her belt. The girls were supposed to pull out these flags and dance with them as well. As they were dancing, one girl’s tiny flag fell out of her belt and landed on the stage floor. The girls attempted to kick the flag out of the way so they would not step on it or slip and fall, but the dance was so vigorous that they couldn’t get it out of the way.

They did step on the tiny US flag, but they certainly did not do it intentionally. This was simply a prop malfunction; similar to any one might see at a dance routine at a local high school football game. 

By the way, the Cultural Arts Festival event organizers “begged” the Turkish Dance Team from HSA Waco to return to the festival in September 2011. Once again my daughter was on the team. The girls were very well received, and were considered a favorite among attendees. The Student Council volunteered throughout the event. Many people stopped the students to inquire about the school. It was a fantastic recruiting opportunity for the school."

Donna Pravel, HSA Waco parent

UPDATE: We received this comment after publishing the article yesterday and we decided to publish it as part of our impartial approach to this incident. As can be seen from the comment of HSA Waco parent, there was no intentional trampling or stepping up on the flag as Ms. Garner claims. Moreover, if we had not wanted everyone to know about what happened during the folk dance in reality, we would not have published this parent comment.

Ms. Garner’s main purpose of exaggerating this incident is to give the public the impression that the students at Harmony Public Schools are raised as non-patriotic individuals, a theme Ms. Garner continuously emphasizes. This incident is just a part of Ms. Garner’s famous baseless claim that Harmony students are not properly taught the main topics of Social Studies, because their teachers are international. As Advocates, we really do not know how many times this baseless claim has been refuted, because there is no so-called “Turkish” Social Studies teacher at Harmony Schools and we do care about this issue more than Ms. Garner does. Even if there were some international teachers that teach Social Studies, it does not necessarily mean that they cannot properly teach anything to our children.

In short, there was no need to make a mountain out of a molehill Ms. Garner, wasn’t there?

If you have any video related to this festival, we will gladly publish it here, because as Harmony Schools Advocates, we are not afraid of revealing the truth in any incident. We do not manipulate the facts like Donna Garner, who even did not have the courage to respond to our open letter to her that we penned a few months ago.

Meanwhile, you can find yesterday’s article below:

Donna Garner, a retired teacher from Waco, has recently been the spokesperson of those who attack Harmony Public Schools. In fact, in order to enjoy such status, one needs to be knowledgeable (to the extent of expertise) about the things he or she works on and needs to spend a good amount of time on the issue that he or she opposes. Unfortunately, Donna Garner lacks both prerequisites. But she still continues to defame Harmony Schools, talks like an expert on them (she has never been to any Harmony campus) and she becomes really pathetic when the real experts tell the truth by revealing Ms. Garner’s pseudo-truth.

One of those experts, whom he or she calls himself/herself Dr. Kurt, exposed Donna Garner’s mistakes and false claims in his/her own blog. You can read the entire article as well as the previous ones about Donna Garner in that blog, but today as Harmony Schools Advocates, we will debunk Ms. Garner’s one of oft-repeated claims: the so-called trampling of American flag at a Harmony event in Waco. First, please see the picture that was taken during the event:

This picture is from the event Ms. Garner repeatedly mentions. It took place  in Indian Spring Park in Waco in September 2010. More pictures related to the dance and the event can be found here. Donna Garner has been claiming that the folk-dance students (seen above) trampled the United States of America flag during the dance performance. But the picture does not say so. Even when you look at the other pictures, there is no indication of trampling the US flag at all. This leaves us wondering why Donna Garner still makes the same claim even though she has no visual proof at all. What she says is just based either on fabrication or hearsay.

Do you believe and expect from these students to commit such a shameful act as Ms. Garner claims? This is just sheer imagination. If we find any video related to this festival, we will gladly announce it, because as Harmony Schools Advocates, we are not afraid of revealing the truth in any incident.

P.S: We received a long comment (full of insults) from Vanessa Kachadurian (from her Turkish-looking fake Twitter account) in which she accepts being Armenian and her hatred towards Harmony Schools. Her comment ends this way: “We will make sure to keep you busy, in fact you just gave me an idea with another well known journalist.”

As Harmony Schools Advocates, we are not afraid of any media outlets as long as they maintain good intentions and objective journalism rather than yellow journalism.