The law on such matters is settled – and has been for seventy years.
A Brownsville Area Middle School student who was disciplined repeatedly for refusing to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance sued that school district today, demanding changes in policy and monetary damages.
According to the complaint by the American Civil Liberties Union, the 13-year-old eighth grader -- identified in the complaint by her initials N.B. -- has been given lunch detention and multiple in-school suspensions in recent weeks for refusing to stand during the Pledge.
The ACLU said in its complaint that forcing a student to stand during the Pledge violates free speech rights.
"Due to personal beliefs regarding the state of the country, N.B. does not wish to stand" during the Pledge, the complaint said. A homeroom teacher told her that reflected "disrespect for all the soldiers dying for her overseas," and continued refusals brought discipline.
The student's mother, Carolyn Raja, complained to school officials, but they backed the discipline.
If anything, this incident confirms in my mind the belief that we need to eliminate the Pledge of Allegiance from our schools and public ceremonies. Instead, folks should be pledging themselves instead to the US Constitution, and the principles it guarantees. The only problem with that, however, is that many of the putative patriots professing outrage over someone failing to stand for the Pledge would be unable to take that pledge, due to their having a greater devotion to a mass-produce piece of cloth than they do to the principles upon which this nation stands.
Posted by: Greg at
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