Texas high school suspends student — for refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance

posted at 7:31 pm on May 9, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Granted, I personally think the young man is being just a tad shortsighted in his reasoning for not wanting to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at this particular moment in time, but oh, well: That’s just my opinion, and that you cannot and should not be coerced into saying or doing things you don’t want to say or do is kind of the whole point. We already decided this back in 1943, and while the news report makes it sound like the administrators’ contention might be not that he didn’t recite but that he didn’t stand for the Pledge, that shouldn’t make a difference if he isn’t being otherwise disruptive, should it?

Mason Michalec, a sophomore at Needville High School, claims he’s taken a pledge not to say the Pledge.

“I’ve basically said it from the time I was in kindergarten to earlier this year and that’s when I decided I was done saying it,” he told KHOU.

The 15-year-old says he loves his country, but he doesn’t agree with how politicians are running it.

“I’m really tired of our government taking advantage of us,” said Michalec. “I don’t agree with the NSA spying on us. And I don’t agree with any of those Internet laws.”

But his attitude didn’t sit well with his Needville school. He stopped saying the pledge earlier this school year and hasn’t had a problem. But when announcements were moved to a different period on Wednesday, a new teacher spotted him sitting down during the recitation. He also sat down during the Texas Pledge, a special pledge that students in the state make to The Lone Star Flag. She was furious. …

When he refused to get up, he says the principal of his high school slammed him with two days of in-school suspension. The punishment came with a warning: continue sitting down and he’d get more suspension time.


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Um.

Nope. I durst not.

Axe on May 9, 2014 at 7:35 PM

UPDATE: The kid just got his own show on MSNBC.

He’ll be replacing Ronan Farrow.

hepcat on May 9, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Why suspend him? Just deal with him like we used to do when we were in high school and dinosaurs ruled the earth. You beat the stuffing out of him.

TinFin on May 9, 2014 at 7:35 PM

When he refused to get up, he says the principal of his high school slammed him with two days of in-school suspension. The punishment came with a warning: continue sitting down and he’d get more suspension time.

– But he was punished for making a spectacle of himself, not for being silent.

Axe on May 9, 2014 at 7:36 PM

the administrators’ contention might be not that he didn’t recite but that he didn’t stand for the Pledge, that shouldn’t make a difference if he isn’t being otherwise disruptive, should it?

Well, yeah.

Axe on May 9, 2014 at 7:40 PM

I’LL say it. The principal is a fascist. Left or right, it doesn’t matter-the first amendment is a RIGHT, a God-given right, just as self-defense is a God-given RIGHT. The kid is free to not say the pledge of allegiance, just as he’s free to be a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Atheist, to wear a t-shirt with an American flag on it, to wear the “Tea Party” Ben Franklin “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, etc etc etc.

The principal and the teacher were out of line.

RockinRickOwen on May 9, 2014 at 7:40 PM

The 15-year-old says he loves his country, but he doesn’t agree with how politicians are running it.

Shit, take a number and get in line kid. However, from being banned from wearing American flag shirts or receiving punishment for cutting class, school administrators own you and you have to follow the rules during school hours.

TinFin on May 9, 2014 at 7:41 PM

– But he was punished for making a spectacle of himself, not for being silent.

Axe on May 9, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Spectacle is that what you call it.

RickB on May 9, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Common core will make sure that the student pledges allegiance to whatever reprobate democrat is in office.

Murphy9 on May 9, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Okay, I’ll say it.

The Texas pledge is kind of dumb.

cozmo on May 9, 2014 at 7:45 PM

that’s horrible. he shouldn’t be forced to say the pledge if he doesn’t want to. and he has an understandable reason why not. i myself don’t mind saying it but i respect his reason not to. it’s so stupid that they had to suspend him simply for sitting down and being silent. and notice that he previously had a different teacher who didn’t mind at all. see? he wasn’t causing any trouble by not saying the pledge.

Sachiko on May 9, 2014 at 7:46 PM

Texas high school suspends student — for refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance

…he’s looking for a Cabinet Position in JugEars administration!

KOOLAID2 on May 9, 2014 at 7:47 PM

Spectacle is that what you call it.

RickB on May 9, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Spectacle is what it is. It’s just “look at me.” Class stand up. “No.” Class sit down. “No.” He can just stand up (or sit down) and not take the oath if it was just about the oath. It’s about conspicuously not taking the oath. He wants everyone to notice.

Axe on May 9, 2014 at 7:49 PM

The little maggot is an attention seeking punk, but even attention seeking punks have first amendment rights.

Racistanyway on May 9, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Murphy9 on May 9, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Neanderthal Texas doesn’t use Common Core.

cozmo on May 9, 2014 at 7:51 PM

I’m shocked that any school in the U.S. still says The Pledge.

If anything, I assumed they’d be reciting the Marxist matra about leg inequality or something: “Four legs good, two legs bad …”

ShainS on May 9, 2014 at 7:53 PM

You can’t do this. When my son was in 4th grade, there was a kid in his class who was Jehovah’s Witness. He neither stood nor recited during the pledge. He sat quietly in his chair and wasn’t disruptive, and was very respectable to the others.

ladyingray on May 9, 2014 at 7:54 PM

Neanderthal Texas doesn’t use Common Core.

cozmo on May 9, 2014 at 7:51 PM

So you won’t understand arithmetic in only one way?

pfft.

Murphy9 on May 9, 2014 at 7:55 PM

I’m not terribly impressed with the Pledge. My allegiance is to the Constitution, and not some ditty written by a socialist.

Scribbler on May 9, 2014 at 7:56 PM

I should say . . . I should admit that I wouldn’t take the pledge either, not after I was old enough to look at some of it’s parts. I was pretty idealistic. So I’m probably unusually sympathetic to that kid.

. . . send him to the office in a heartbeat, though, for disrupting my class.

– Ah crap, hail. :) Anyone needs to hand my butt to me, please be gentle. I might not be able to fight back. Power, etc.

Axe on May 9, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Texas high school suspends student — for refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance

Nothing wrong with that .
If kids can be punished and suspended for wearing US flag logo on their t-shirts, they should also be suspended for refusing to respect the US flag and Pledge of Allegiance.
If students can’t read the Bible in school in their free reading time, they should not be taken to mosks on field trips.

burrata on May 9, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Spectacle is what it is. It’s just “look at me.” Class stand up. “No.” Class sit down. “No.” He can just stand up (or sit down) and not take the oath if it was just about the oath. It’s about conspicuously not taking the oath. He wants everyone to notice.

Axe on May 9, 2014 at 7:49 PM

We gots enough evil midgets of our own to fill a class room. I wish ours would have a “look at me” moment and sit down and be quite. I have been known to wear both a dead and live chicken on my head to get the little buggers to sit and shut. Maybe I should try the pledge thingy…..I’m starting to like the dead chicken way too much. Here comes Skynyrd….Oh That Smell….

HonestLib on May 9, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Texas high school suspends student — for refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance

When he refused to get up, he says the principal of his high school slammed him with two days of in-school suspension. The punishment came with a warning: continue sitting down and he’d get more suspension time.

The headline here doesn’t match the facts. The student wasn’t suspended for refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, he was suspended because he remained seated. The student was suspended for showing a lack of respect to expected behavior, not a refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Happy Nomad on May 9, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Uh, sorry…I thought this was QOTD. Chuckle!

HonestLib on May 9, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Good grief. Watch this.
http://youtu.be/TZBTyTWOZCM

BacaDog on May 9, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Agree with Ace on this one – think if he didn’t want to make a point or disrupt he should have stood up.

Here is an interesting note from my beautiful, but usually messed up state where a atheist family in an adjoining town sued to have the Pledge removed from the public schools… They lost! Court ruled it was not religious.

Coulda knocked my socks off (if I was wearing any).

MA SJC ruling</

unaffiliated on May 9, 2014 at 8:09 PM

The 15-year-old says he loves his country, but he doesn’t agree with how politicians are running it.

Uh, the pledge is to the COUNTRY, not the politicians that run it, dumba$$. If you love your country, you can say the pledge and still disagree with how it is run.

BUT, if they suspended every stupid kid, the classrooms would be empty. C’mon, lift the suspension.

rcpjr on May 9, 2014 at 8:11 PM

If the country can make a person sell or provide service to another, then the country certainly can force forms of speech upon a person.

unclesmrgol on May 9, 2014 at 8:11 PM

I only wish the schools would show this much zeal about making sure kids are getting our money’s worth out of their time.

KMC1 on May 9, 2014 at 8:11 PM

While I disagree w/ the kid-as long as he’s just sitting/standing quietly during the pledges…I can’t really say that I have a problem w/ what he’s doing.
No-He wasn’t making a spectacle of himself .

annoyinglittletwerp on May 9, 2014 at 8:12 PM

If kids can be punished and suspended for wearing US flag logo on their t-shirts, they should also be suspended for refusing to respect the US flag and Pledge of Allegiance.
If students can’t read the Bible in school in their free reading time, they should not be taken to mosks on field trips.

burrata on May 9, 2014 at 8:05 PM

You forgot the whole issue of 8-year-olds becoming criminals for chewing their pop tarts into the shape of a gun or using their fingers as a “weapon” during play time.

I say let’s just cut to the chase and agree with Melissa Harris Perry and declare that children are part of the collective. They must obey at the indoctrination centers called public schools or be punished.

Happy Nomad on May 9, 2014 at 8:12 PM

You can’t do this. When my son was in 4th grade, there was a kid in his class who was Jehovah’s Witness. He neither stood nor recited during the pledge. He sat quietly in his chair and wasn’t disruptive, and was very respectable to the others.

ladyingray on May 9, 2014 at 7:54 PM

Yup. The kid wasn’t wrong, and he WILL win in court. AP is wrong about standing as well. “Will you please rise…” etc… same song, second verse. As long as he was quiet and respectful of the others reciting their pledge, he caused no disruption.

Is the hypocrisy of taking a Statist position to compel an oath of allegence not obvious here people? Oy. Orwell was an optimist as well I guess.

Irritable Pundit on May 9, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Here is an interesting note from my beautiful, but usually messed up state where a atheist family in an adjoining town sued to have the Pledge removed from the public schools… They lost! Court ruled it was not religious.

unaffiliated on May 9, 2014 at 8:09 PM

I’m guessing the crux of their case was the “so help me God” bit.

This is pretty well trod ground. So long as you don’t compel this family’s atheist snowflakes to pledge allegience to God, there is no case. Same holds true in this thread. Nobody was forcing Mason Michalec to do anything but show some respect to societal norms.

Happy Nomad on May 9, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Oops, my bad, I thought he was suspended for saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

Joseph K on May 9, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Why suspend him? Just deal with him like we used to do when we were in high school and dinosaurs ruled the earth. You beat the stuffing out of him.

TinFin on May 9, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Such tolerance. I am overwhelmed by your support for this young man’s right to not say the pledge. The beating you think he deserves is icing on the cake. It brings tears to my eyes. we need more Americans such as yourself. True conservative.

coolrepublica on May 9, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Sounds like his heart is in the right place, to me.

He’s only 15 and already he smells a rat. Keep an eye on him. He might make a leader someday.

Cleombrotus on May 9, 2014 at 8:24 PM

coolrepublica on May 9, 2014 at 8:22 PM

I believe that the kid is well within his right not saying the pledges-despite also believing that he is WRONG not to do so.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 9, 2014 at 8:27 PM

If Obama had a son…

trs on May 9, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Here is an interesting note from my beautiful, but usually messed up state where a atheist family in an adjoining town sued to have the Pledge removed from the public schools… They lost! Court ruled it was not religious.

unaffiliated on May 9, 2014 at 8:09 PM

I’m guessing the crux of their case was the “so help me God” bit.

Happy Nomad on May 9, 2014 at 8:19 PM

You mean “one nation under God”, right? “So help me God” is from the oath of office.

ajb3 on May 9, 2014 at 8:36 PM

If Obama had a son…

trs on May 9, 2014 at 8:28 PM

He would not be like him. Obama’s son would be like that Texas Principal.

VorDaj on May 9, 2014 at 8:36 PM

VorDaj on May 9, 2014 at 8:36 PM

THIS^^^

annoyinglittletwerp on May 9, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Today pledging allegiance to the flag can logically be seen as pledging allegiance to Obama and the IRS, BLM, DOJ, EPA, ATF, FBI and the NSA and that anyone here can not see that is astounding.

VorDaj on May 9, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Sounds like he was put up to it by Julian Castro.

TX-96 on May 9, 2014 at 8:41 PM

TX-96 on May 9, 2014 at 8:41 PM
there’s nothing wrong with what he did.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 9, 2014 at 8:43 PM

You mean “one nation under God”, right? “So help me God” is from the oath of office.

ajb3 on May 9, 2014 at 8:36 PM

You, of course, are right. A career in the military where I administered the oath of office distracted me.

Happy Nomad on May 9, 2014 at 8:47 PM

At what point will pledging allegiance to the flag be to pledge allegiance to a foreign country?

Cleombrotus on May 9, 2014 at 8:49 PM

he got an “in-house suspension” so what does he do, sit in the cafeteria all day and smoke weed?

halfbaked on May 9, 2014 at 8:51 PM

At what point will pledging allegiance to the flag be to pledge allegiance to a foreign country?

Cleombrotus on May 9, 2014 at 8:49 PM

That started about 5 1/2 years ago.

VorDaj on May 9, 2014 at 8:52 PM

VorDaj on May 9, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Exactly. This isn’t your father’s Oldsmobile, anymore.

Cleombrotus on May 9, 2014 at 8:53 PM

Today pledging allegiance to the flag can logically be seen as pledging allegiance to Obama

VorDaj on May 9, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Not true. Obama has his own flag.

Happy Nomad on May 9, 2014 at 8:53 PM

Why suspend him? Just deal with him like we used to do when we were in high school and dinosaurs ruled the earth. You beat the stuffing out of him.

TinFin on May 9, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Such tolerance. I am overwhelmed by your support for this young man’s right to not say the pledge. The beating you think he deserves is icing on the cake. It brings tears to my eyes. we need more Americans such as yourself. True conservative.

coolrepublica on May 9, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Care to comment on the True Conservative Activist Justices in another state, who just today ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance is not religious?????

And before you answer, I’ll tell you that today’s ruling came from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Take your time.

As for the content of your post? What else can I say?

F-

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Kid seems immature and a bit scrambled in his thinking, but I was going to say that he should just drop out if he doesn’t like it, but it looks like the legal age for dropping out is 18 in Texas. (Kind of weird, since that basically means that you can’t drop out.)

I went to public high school – a particularly crappy and violent one – and at that time and in that state the legal drop-out age was 16. If I had it to do over again, I would have dropped out at 16. It was a complete waste of two years of my life. I learned nothing in my crappy public high school, and my high school diploma has had no impact on my life – positively or negatively – whatsoever. Most of my friends dropped out the first day they were legally able to do so. I should have done the same thing, but I was naïve enough to believe all that ‘you’ll be a ditch digger for the rest of your life’ rhetoric.

In the internet age, do we really need high school? If someone is really interested in a particular hard discipline (medicine, engineering, etc.) that requires serious advanced learning, they could go to some kind of specialty school.

It just seems to me that our whole educational model is antiquated, and has been for some time. Especially in public schools.

As for the pledge in general, I think it is good to instill a sense of national loyalty in children. But this kid is obviously past the training stage. He needs to see the world. Once he steps outside of the US, if he has any brains, he’ll understand that being born a US citizen is like winning the frickin lottery. The US has its problems just like anywhere, but compared to every other place, it’s a five-star hotel. I’ve been all over the frickin world, and I can tell you that there’s barely a day that goes by that I’m not thankful as hell that I was born in the US.

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/page.aspx?id=3056

2. At what age may a student drop out of school?
A child who is under 18 years of age is required to attend public school. There are several exemptions from this requirement. A primary exemption is for students who are enrolled in a private or parochial school, including a home school. Another primary exemption applies to students who are at least 17 years of age and are either enrolled in a GED (high school equivalency) program or have received either a high school diploma or a GED certificate. The statutes stating the compulsory ages of attendance and the exemptions from attendance are Sections 25.085 and 25.086 of the Texas Education Code. If a child is required to attend school and fails to do so, criminal charges may be brought against the parent under Section 25.093 or against the student under Section 25.094. The offense is a Class C mindemeanor. There is some information on this topic in the attendance section of the Administrator’s Letter.

WhatSlushfund on May 9, 2014 at 9:04 PM

TX-96 on May 9, 2014 at 8:41 PM
there’s nothing wrong with what he did.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 9, 2014 at 8:43 PM

I think it’s wrong to not respect the soil you are a citizen of. If you dont want to, thats fine, move to Cuba.

However I also don’t think this is because of his personal beliefs. He’s been coached.

TX-96 on May 9, 2014 at 9:07 PM

As a former teacher, I must say – sometimes you don’t get the complete story.

MAzingrace on May 9, 2014 at 9:07 PM

The eyes of Texas are upon you, kid. They have capital punishment, down there. Be careful.

koolbob on May 9, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Lol….it’s funny to hear supposed conservatives think that the government is right in retaliating against a person because they don’t swear allegiance. No where in the US Constitution does it give the government the authority to punish those that don’t swear allegiance. While I don’t agree with the kid it is his right.

MoreLiberty on May 9, 2014 at 9:20 PM

When I go to sporting events, I no longer stand during the National Anthem. The truth is, I can honor the idea of a nation that used to exist, but I can’t honor that which I’m not proud of and don’t recognize. Our nation isn’t the one I grew up in.

Corporal Tunnel on May 9, 2014 at 9:29 PM

Why does it appear that every principle is a petty dictator with no common sense.

Clark1 on May 9, 2014 at 9:29 PM

I’m a teacher, and I had a student do this EXACT same thing some years ago in my class (wanted to sit during the Pledge). I don’t care what your reasons are, you do NOT have a right to use my classroom as a platform for your protest (it’s a classroom, not an Occupy Wall Street crap-a-thon), and if you’re not willing to stand (silently is fine, but respectfully, facing the flag) then you will not be allowed in my classroom until after the Pledge. Period.

That was my response, and the administration agreed (and if they hadn’t, I’d have taken my complaint, and eminently reasonable compromise solution, to the local paper in our very conservative Southern state). The student in question remained in the office until after the Pledge, without any disciplinary action or the like. She get her moment of ‘whatever the heck her point is,’ my class got to avoid the disrespect and disruption that results from someone trying to turn my classroom into a platform for their personal crusade.

We’re in class to learn. Take your protest elsewhere.

xNavigator on May 9, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Back in the dim mists of antiquity, I too was suspended from high school for not saying the Pledge; of course, in those days I was an airhead hippie chick and it was the Viet Nam war I was foggily protesting. I was certainly wanting everyone to know why I was a refusenik, whether this boy did the same or not.

But in truth, I have come to be less inclined to say or support the Pledge in these last few years.

The more conservative I become, the less comfortable I am saying it.

At church, I will recite the Creed with the congregation because that is truly what I believe. But do I sincerely want to proclaim allegiance to what this country is becoming?

To its history, to the fallen, to my neighbors and kin- yes, I can pledge allegiance. To the system of governance, this massive bloatocrasy that now rules us, the hoards of parasites that care nothing for anything but their own selfish indulgences? Whether I choose it or not, the government and the 52% are part and parcel with this nation, and I hate it.

I have publicly advocated for a national divorce, spent treasure in support of my state regaining its Republic status. So how much love and fealty can I really express for the components of this nation I fear and despise?

Dolce Far Niente on May 9, 2014 at 9:59 PM

Damn. Didn’t think I would find a “Mao’s Little Red Book” study group here. I thought only leftists did that. But then again when you act like a Leftist don’t be surprised when you’re called one. Those calling for all sorts of discipline and punishment are no better than the Leftists who do the same to Christians who exercise their beliefs. Go take you Statist butt and go sit with your intellectual and ideological peers on the Left.

Oh, and to the “teacher” and other who think the school “owns this kids butt”: go read Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School Dist. You need some remedial law classes. Pay attention to the part that starts with “In our system, state-operated schools may not be enclaves of totalitarianism.” (Which so many here seem to disagree with). I’m looking forward to reading how you square Tinker with “the school owns the kid’s butt”.

So…How does one square the belief in the rule of law and the law of the land with their Statist need to make teenagers part of their particular little collective, SCOTUS ruling be damned?

tphillip on May 9, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Dolce Far Niente on May 9, 2014 at 9:59 PM

Well said. Well said.

Cleombrotus on May 9, 2014 at 10:06 PM

I can see his point. But for me, the Flag represents those who fought and defended it. Not those that hide behind it. I had some classmates that refused to say the Pledge. They were big time “Clymers” about it, but my teacher would ask they leave the classroom rather than not recite or stand. There are other ways to show your disapproval of our leaders. I’d like to think that these leaders will come and go (preferably quicker than the seemingly average 20 year terms) but Old Glory will be around for a long time.

Wang Chi: Here’s to the Army and Navy and the battles they have won; here’s to America’s colors, the colors that never run.

Jack Burton: May the wings of liberty never lose a feather.

The Dude on May 9, 2014 at 10:08 PM

We’re in class to learn. Take your protest elsewhere.

xNavigator on May 9, 2014 at 9:32 PM

While I understand your point, to me it is a moot one considering the state compels by law that kid to be present in your class.

oryguncon on May 9, 2014 at 10:12 PM

While I understand your point, to me it is a moot one considering the state compels by law that kid to be present in your class.

oryguncon on May 9, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Completely incorrect. You are not compelled by law to be in my particular class, or any particular class for that matter. Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, as is private schooling. You DO NOT have to be in public school, and I advocate above all else that parents become active participants in choosing the educational venue that best fits their particular family’s needs and values (and parents should know, when you send your kid to your local public school, you are NOT in charge any longer. Reality.). Additionally, beyond the age of [varies by state, generally between 15-18], you don’t have to be in any school whatsoever, home/private/public, etc.

Finally, even if your family feels it has no option but to send your kid to public school and my class, It’ll be a cold day in hell before I allow you to sit on your arse during the Pledge, drawing attention to yourself, while you’re surrounded by the children of families whose mother/father/sister/brother/aunt/uncle/what-have-you have lost life or limb(s) in the service of our country, or are currently on their umpteenth tour a gazillion miles from home so you can sit on your arse during the Pledge.

Want to protest? Stand and keep your mouth shut during the Pledge. Want to sit and draw attention to yourself, disrupting my classroom community? Goodbye. See you after the Pledge.

xNavigator on May 9, 2014 at 10:23 PM

How dare someone not worship the state.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on May 9, 2014 at 10:33 PM

He also sat down during the Texas Pledge, a special pledge that students in the state make to The Lone Star Flag.

I went to school in Teas from 6th through 12th grades, and never knew there was a “Texas Pledge”.

That said, unless he was just sitting and not being disruptive, then any punishment was out of line… and the letter that the news clip showed didn’t say anything about being disruptive.

malclave on May 9, 2014 at 10:34 PM

RockinRickOwen

Darn tootin’.

tree hugging sister on May 9, 2014 at 10:41 PM

We’re in class to learn. Take your protest elsewhere.

xNavigator

And The Pledge of Allegiance has ZIP to do with a public education.

ANY education, for that matter.

tree hugging sister on May 9, 2014 at 10:45 PM

I’m with xNavigator. I remember in my high school we said the pledge and had a number of exchange students. They obviously weren’t expected to say the pledge but there was still protocol for how they were to behave.

Just like at an international game you should stand for the anthem of the other country.

They can’t, and shouldn’t, insist that he say the pledge. But they have the right to demand a protocol be followed for protestors. It is unclear to me whether they over reacted to the kid not following the protocol (or perhaps not even understanding it) or whether the kid is claiming that by refusing to pledge then he is free to completely disregard the process is unclear. If he’s broken a school rule for behavior it doesn’t matter if it was regarding the pledge or a lecture or any other activity.

MC88 on May 9, 2014 at 10:45 PM

I had a student do this one year, and he had freedom of speech to do so. The previous commenter is correct that students have already won acknowledgement of their first amendment rights in the Supreme Court, and I refuse to infringe upon those rights simply because I don’t agree with their views. That would make me no better than the very liberals usually ranted about on this site, and it would also open the school up to a lawsuit that they can’t win. You don’t get to dictate what other people can or can’t say because you don’t agree. That’s the whole point of the first amendment, which apparently many on this site would defend only when they felt like it.

kc-anathema on May 9, 2014 at 10:49 PM

and if you’re not willing to stand (silently is fine, but respectfully, facing the flag) then you will not be allowed in my classroom

Your classroom? Do you own just the room, or also the students in it? It seems that you don’t quite understand how ‘freedom’ works. As long as Sitting-Mc-Sits-a-Lot doesn’t prevent anyone else from participating, I fail to see why you think their lack of participation somehow equates to a disruption. Is everyone else capable of saying the pledge without his help? Yes? Ok, crisis averted.

Komsomoletz on May 9, 2014 at 11:09 PM

And The Pledge of Allegiance has ZIP to do with a public education.

tree hugging sister on May 9, 2014 at 10:45 PM

But good order and respect DOES have plenty to do with learning, which is why we kick out misbehaving incorrigibles (after far, far, far, FAR too much rope and too many chances, while they damage the ability of good kids to get a decent education). No little angel has the ‘right’ to use class as a platform for a public protest. You don’t need an audience in order to honor your closely held values and views, do you? You shouldn’t. This kid should have had the same option I gave my student, to go elsewhere during the Pledge and return afterward. You can have your ‘public’ refusal to stand, and I can show all my other students that their families’ sacrifices are respected and valued. Win-win. Don’t like it?

See ya! There’s the door! :-)

xNavigator on May 9, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Your classroom?

Komsomoletz on May 9, 2014 at 11:09 PM

Indeed it is! I am the responsible party for what goes on in my classroom, designated so by the school district and the local school board (the latter having been elected by the local population, by the way). It is my classroom until they say otherwise, and as long as it is, I will not have it used for public protests.

Don’t like it? There’s the door.————-> []

xNavigator on May 9, 2014 at 11:21 PM

If this is what actually happened, then it’s outrageous, and a violation of his rights. However, there is only one side to this story reported.

JannyMae on May 9, 2014 at 11:34 PM

I love this country enough that I will still stand and say the Pledge, and when the Star Spangled Banner is played, I still get all teary. That said, I could never say that strange pledge of allegiance to the state flag of Texas. I view myself not as a citizen of any state, but as a citizen of the United States.

Loving this country means that you have to allow things like burning the flag, or Mr. Michalec to have his little pro-Russian protest. You do not have to agree with them, but you do have to allow them. They are part and parcel of the Constitution.

I think the xNavigator solution is the best — Mr. Michalec can come into the room after the Pledge has been said. He has chosen to separate himself from those who respect our Flag and the nation it represents and the symbolism of him entering the room after that respect has been rendered is good.

unclesmrgol on May 9, 2014 at 11:37 PM

We already decided this back in 1943, and while the news report makes it sound like the administrators’ contention might be not that he didn’t recite but that he didn’t stand for the Pledge, that shouldn’t make a difference if he isn’t being otherwise disruptive, should it?

In that case it was decided that physically saluting the flag “in connection with the pledges, the flag salute is a form of utterance”. Doesn’t mention sitting as some kind of a new Constitutional right. What it addressed in particular was reciting the pledge while giving the “Bellamy salute”.

However, in a perfect world the teacher would have viewed this instead as a teachable moment by taking the brat out in the hall, introducing him to Mr.Locker and smacking some sense into the kid.

whatcat on May 9, 2014 at 11:38 PM

The school acted stupidly in suspending the lad. A pledge comes from the heart and mind, it’s meaningless when take under duress. The beauty of a Free Country is not being forced to say what you choose not to say.

lel2007 on May 9, 2014 at 11:46 PM

Cane the little punk on the track field for all to see.
Give the attention whore his attention, just not the way he wants it.

Bubba Redneck on May 9, 2014 at 11:47 PM

That said, unless he was just sitting and not being disruptive, then any punishment was out of line

malclave on May 9, 2014 at 10:34 PM

Ugh. This is why I shouldn’t try to edit my comments before posting. I end up writing the exact opposite of what I mean in the rewrite.

unless IF he was just sitting and not being disruptive, then any punishment was out of line

malclave on May 9, 2014 at 11:48 PM

Students have the right to pray in public schools courtesy of the protection afforded them by the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. The State cannot deny them their freedom of speech simply because they attend a state-funded school. By the same token, they cannot be compelled to speak words they do not believe.

This attitude displayed here is an inherently fascistic, totalitarian mindset. This kid was not being disrespectful. He behaved himself. He simply had the courage of his conviction. For the agents of the State to punish him for not voicing his allegiance to the flag is anti-American. A teacher who is proud of himself for compelling a fellow citizen to compromise his conscience should feel shame, not pride. As long as he was not being disruptive, the only reason to force a child to stand before the flag against his will is to impose his own belief system on another.

Sickening.

io on May 10, 2014 at 12:14 AM

He simply had the courage of his conviction.

io on May 10, 2014 at 12:14 AM

And he’s learned a valuable lesson, that being true to your convictions is not free. It carries costs. So he’s learning at school! That’s a win!

As long as he was not being disruptive, the only reason to force a child to stand before the flag against his will is to impose his own belief system on another.

Incorrect. You’re not required to be in a public school, therefore nobody is imposing their beliefs or expectations upon you, because you can leave. You can go to a private school and/or homeschool (legal in all 50 states). Whatever school you attend, you WILL have to conform to that institution’s particular parameters for behavior, and if you don’t like the code of conduct, you should find another more amenable institution to patronize for your educational endeavors. The only reason for a child to sit while we all stand before the flag is to publicly insult the symbol that others are standing for out of respect, and to use the classroom as your vehicle for insulting your classmates and community, and to require them to BE AWARE of your insult against them(by sitting) rather than holding those convictions to your heart and refusing to say the Pledge (while standing), is disruptive of the educational environment and community.

The student should have been sent out and returned after the Pledge. Period.

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 12:26 AM

This idea that not standing for the flag equals disrespect for those who do is ridiculous. Disagreement equals disrespect? Only in Obama’s America.

At any rate, the law is on his side. This has already been to the Supreme Court over 60 years ago. Therefore, he has every right to abstain from a forced loyalty oath. Children no longer have to be run out of the public schools simply to follow their conscience in this manner.

io on May 10, 2014 at 12:46 AM

This idea that not standing for the flag equals disrespect for those who do is ridiculous.

The idea that sitting down during the Pledge is a courageous ‘stand’ is ridiculous. The idea that your convictions should require no cost to display is ridiculous. The idea that the bulk of my students, many of whose families have paid in blood for that flag, should swallow their own convictions in the face of this kind of insult because of his/her convictions is ridiculous.

At any rate, the law is on his side.

No, not in the way you believe. He cannot be forced to say the Pledge, but he doesn’t have the right to park his rear while everyone else stands. You don’t have the right to disrupt the classroom. He shouldn’t be suspended, but the school has wide latitude in preventing disruptions to the educational environment, and your brave little angel is doing just that…disrupting the class by pissing off patriotic students whose families paid dearly to allow you the freedom to say, or not to say, the Pledge.

…he has every right to abstain from a forced loyalty oath.

Absolutely, so stand up and don’t say it…or go outside the room and sit and don’t say it.

Many of you so-called conservatives have come a long way from the patriotic generations that preceded you, and not in a good way.

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 1:01 AM

I find it informative that you demonize a student who respectfully follows his convictions which are constitutionally protected. Those students who have had family who fought for our country did so to defend our constitution. That same constitution that protects this student’s rights. Too bad some so-called conservatives cannot see that.

io on May 10, 2014 at 1:14 AM

[sigh]

The kid will one day realize his disdain for current politicians would be a decent argument for refusing to ‘pledge allegiance to the politicians of America…’ but wholly inadequate for pledging allegiance to the USA. Could’ve saved him some grief had he thought before this lesson.

anuts on May 10, 2014 at 1:34 AM

Why didn’t everybody just ignore him? He is clearly refusing to recite as a way of getting attention. If he got none, it may not make him start, but it would deny him the grievance soapbox he now wields.

Rusty Nail on May 10, 2014 at 1:40 AM

Why suspend him? Just deal with him like we used to do when we were in high school and dinosaurs ruled the earth. You beat the stuffing out of him.

TinFin on May 9, 2014 at 7:35 PM

I trust you’ll remember this post the next time the right squeals that they’re being OMGOPPRESSED! because they lost jobs, advertisers, business licenses or whatnot for saying/doing unbelievably stupid things.

Tlaloc on May 10, 2014 at 1:45 AM

It seems like some people here are making observations, and others are stating opinions. (ie: the school will do xyz because we live in a fascist state! vs: the school should do xyz because of abc reasons.) It also seems that several people may have forgotten the sarc tag.

I would caution other commenters to make sure they know which comments are which before they jump to conclusions about who’s advocating what. I think some people are simply bemoaning the fact that this is what our schools are like now.

Of course, I would also caution everyone to try to be as clear as we can when writing to prevent misunderstandings. I know that there will always be misunderstandings because people communicate differently, but a little good will and effort go a long way towards fixing those that do occur. :)

Cheshire_Kat on May 10, 2014 at 2:48 AM

The school should do nothing about it.
His parents should beat the hell out of him.

Ronnie on May 10, 2014 at 3:19 AM

Haven’t Seventh Day Adventist been excused for decades? It seems to me that the very essence of our Country preclude this kid forced into his allegiance.

Cindy Munford on May 10, 2014 at 8:26 AM

“My country, right or wrong; and if it be wrong, to be set right; and if it be right, to be kept right.” –Carl Schurz

Horatia on May 10, 2014 at 8:55 AM

the administrators’ contention might be not that he didn’t recite but that he didn’t stand for the Pledge, that shouldn’t make a difference if he isn’t being otherwise disruptive, should it?

Well of course he’s being disruptive. Send him out of the room. That should give him the attention he desires.
BTW, it must have been a really slow news day that there wasn’t something more important than this happening yesterday.

Vince on May 10, 2014 at 9:12 AM

And I don’t agree with any of those Internet laws.

I’m sensing a bit of ignorance here. He might have his heart in the right place, but he really needs to become a lot more well-read if he expects his little spectacle to achieve anything worthwhile.

Suspension was way too much for this act, though. I could see giving him a detention or two for not being respectful (meaning he stood quietly) – that could maybe be argued (though I think he had every right to sit quietly).

GWB on May 10, 2014 at 9:18 AM

I’m a career officer and combat veteran. I’ve taken and take serious the oath of my office. I stand and keep my mouth shut during this abomination of “free speech.”

wukong on May 10, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Which America am I pledging allegiance to?

Cleombrotus on May 10, 2014 at 9:32 AM

The school should do nothing about it.
His parents should beat the hell out of him.

Ronnie on May 10, 2014 at 3:19 AM

His parents are more than likely the ones who have helped him become aware of the corruption of our ideals. They are probably more conservative in their political ideas than you are.

I applaud the kid. Wish there were more like him. If the young don’t rise up and refuse to go along with what’s happening to our country, no one else will.

Cleombrotus on May 10, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Are the people in this thread for real? Beat the hell out of someone for not saying some magic words? For “making a spectacle of himself” by remaining quietly seated?

If the people on this site are not 50% shills, you have to wonder about the mentality of people on the “Right” these days. This sort of ridiculous rhetoric is not going to improve things, it just increases the level of anger and hate directed towards fellow citizens.

Anger and hate belong directed at your lords and masters. We are not supposed to have an aristocracy in America, yet many of the comments on Right-wing blogs are completely supportive of this nonsense.

This is why the country is in the toilet; elitists have control of the institutions. They must be driven out, starting with the GOP.

Another Libertarian on May 10, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Okay, so, the kid doesn’t want to recite either Pledge – fine – but, refusing to stand up? Ridiculous. The kid has a discipline problem and is showing disrespect to his fellow students and his teachers – and causing a disruption. Yes, he should be suspended.

Pork-Chop on May 10, 2014 at 9:48 AM

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