Middle School Lies to Students, Forces Them to Stand for Pledge of Allegiance
Is a Student Legally Obligated to Stand for the National Anthem or Say the Pledge of Allegiance? HELL NO!
Protest in the face of patriotism has become a hot topic, especially since NFL player Colin Kaepernick made headlines for kneeling during the national anthem.
The debate has trickled down into one Texas school where a contentious statement has caused controversy. According to CBS 7/KOSA TV, a slide was shown to students at Midland High School telling students that the law states that they must stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence.
This, however, is false. The law does NOT state that one must stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. In fact, as pointed out on the Dinsmore Law Firm website, the right of a student to not stand was outlined in a 1943 Supreme Court case between a Jehovah’s Witness student and the West Virginia State Board of Education.
In that case, the Supreme Court declared that schools cannot make it a requirement that students say or stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. They also don’t have get their parents approval to not take part, and they don’t have to leave the classroom or declare why they don’t wish to take part. Teachers are also prohibited from lecturing their students about patriotism or try to influence their choices in any way. A student is free to not take part for any reason and a school has not right to do anything about it.
This isn’t the first time a school in Texas has been a pain in the butt about patriotism. As KFYO Radio reported, at the beginning of last year, at the Milam Elementary School, they also seemed to not understand the rights of an 8-year old student who decided to kneel during the national anthem. He did this to protest the shooting of African-Americans by the police, just like Colin Kaepernick did.
The student was sent home, but there was little explanation. The school claims that they didn’t send him home for kneeling, but for “inflammatory behavior” stating that he made “negative” comments. But follow up questions remained unanswered.
Just like with the Pledge of Allegiance, a student is under no obligation to stand for the national anthem and they also have the right to non-disruptive protest, as PBS Newhour reports.
And, the issue of patriotic participation isn’t limited to Texas. According to the Washington Post, 11-year old Michigan student, Stone Chaney, faced a “violent snatching” from his chair last week by a teacher consultant who couldn’t deal with the fact that he wouldn’t stand for the anthem. The student has been refusing to stand for the national anthem for a few years now, deciding instead to “honor God and his family” during that time.
Stone explained the ordeal to WDIV TV.
“The teacher consultant comes up behind me and snatches me out of my chair violently. I was so confused. I didn’t know what was going on.”
The next day, the student was further humiliated by being “berated” by a substitute teacher. Talk about a rough week for an 11-year old.
The sad reality is that there are those who are willing to abuse the rights of children in the name of patriotism, if not outright nationalism. Isn’t part of living in a free country actually being able to express ones own views and to protest without authority figures imposing their beliefs on students? Apparently some adults are having trouble grasping this.
Feature image (right side) Paul Jay Salerno/Twitter
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