The Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change has written a letter urging the Chamberlain School Board to allow American Indian students to sing their honor song as part of the Chamberlain High School graduation ceremony. Here's that letter in full:

Bernice A. King, King Center, letter to Chamberlain SD School Board, 2014.03.26

Bernice A. King, King Center, letter to Chamberlain SD School Board, 2014.03.26

These songs convey positive messages of value to students of all cultures. When they are sung in the Native language, they affirm shared pride in the wonderful Native American heritage of South Dakota and other states in the region. It would allow non-Native students to express their respect and goodwill toward native students, just as Native students have frequently joined in singing songs originating in cultures different from their own. When all students join together to sing songs of different cultures, it promotes an appreciateion of diversity, which is a very good thing to celebrate anywhere. As my father, Martin Luther King, Jr., said in his "I Have a Dream" speech, "With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood" [Bernice A. King, Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Ninviolent Social Change, letter to Chamberlain School Board, 2014.03.26].

Will the Chamberlain School Board respond to this call for a more perfect symphony representing all of its students? Or will more national attention like King's letter trigger the South Dakota bunker mentality and provoke board members to kick back all the harder and portray themselves as defenders of some South Dakota faith against the ingressions of outside agitators?

Chamberlain graduation is May 18, just seven weeks away.