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.