More on the Texas student suspended for not standing for the Pledge

posted at 5:31 pm on May 10, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

In this week’s edition of why you should never hire Jazz as your personal attorney, we follow up on what Erika had to say about this story yesterday and find a different take on the case, brought to us from Outside the Beltway. It involved a student in Texas who received an in-school suspension (ISS) for refusing to participate in the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance at school.

A short refresher:

Mason Michalec says he loves his country but just not the government.

“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.”

That’s why he’s taken a pledge of sorts to not say the Pledge of Allegiance with classmates.

“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.”

For the most this year, his silent protest has gone unnoticed. But on Wednesday, when a different teacher observed it for the very first time, the Needville High School sophomore ran into trouble.

“And she told me this is my classroom,” said Michalec. “This is the principal’s request. You’re going to stand. And I still didn’t stand and she said she was going to write me up.”

Michalec says the principal sentenced him to two days of in school suspension, and warned that he could face more ISS if his protest continued.

It’s a consequence the 15-year-old seems prepared to face.

In his usual lawyerly fashion, Doug Maticonis explains why this is an open and shut case, and the student is within his rights.

The legal issues here couldn’t possibly be more clear, as a matter of fact, and stretch back 71 years to a Supreme Court decision that has served as the basis for most modern First Amendment law. In that case, West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, the Supreme Court dealt with sisters who were expelled from school for refusing to comply with a state law that required all students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day. In a 6-3 opinion, the Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional and that no student could be forced to recite the Pledge:

Before we get to the particulars of Doug’s response, I’d like to pause for a moment for a private word with young Mason Michalec. Look, Mason, there’s a lot of things I don’t care for which go on on the country myself. Of course, there’s a lot more that I treasure. The things I don’t like, I work to change as best I can within the confines of the law. But through it all, I don’t lose sight of the fact that this is our country, and for all of its warts and blemishes, it’s still the best one on the planet. Try to keep hold of that, son, no matter what your parents are pushing this week.

Now, moving on to the business at hand, I suppose I’ll pause for a moment here to give a nod to Doug’s legal acumen. I have zero doubt that he’s correct about the conclusions which have been drawn by a gaggle of lawyers and a cohort of old men in robes. But this is yet another case where I have to look at the US judicial system, scratch my head, and ask.. why?

We limit the constitutional rights of children all the time, and judging by other cases which Doug and I have argued in the past, I believe he knows that as well. We don’t let children vote to elect our representatives. We limit their access to potentially dangerous substances and activities. They generally can’t even get a tattoo or have an aspirin issued to them in school without an adult’s supervision and consent. Why?

Because they are children.

While they are still in their formative years we have a communal responsibility to at least try to instill some good values in them before we send them out into the crazy, cold, cruel world. This should ideally be done at home, but in many cases that ship has long since sailed. If prevailing community standards dictate, however, that they say the Pledge and be reminded of their obligation to the nation which provides them all of this freedom while still in school, that’s hardly a case of crushing their liberty. Doug himself cites a case where the courts allowed that schools could squash their freedom of the press in a school paper. That sounds like a pretty big freedom to be taking away if you ask me. But we do it because children need all the guidance they can get before setting out on the stormy seas of life.

Once you become an adult, you have all the freedom to trash the country that you like. Join a commune. Burn the flag. Vote for Bernie Sanders. Hook up with the Occupy movement and defecate on a police car. Have a party. We’ll have to put up with it… within reason. But during your formative years, at least give us a chance to set you on a path that could lead to something productive. The courts also recognize the overarching responsibility and need for the society to protect its own future, first and foremost with molding the minds of those who are still too young to take on such responsibilities.

I think an exception could be made in the courts for allowing mandatory recital of the Pledge. But apparently I’m a relic of history.


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Sounds like it’s off to room 101 of the re-education camp for junior.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on May 10, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Adolescent rebellion. They’ll find some way to do it.

butch on May 10, 2014 at 5:40 PM

“And for all of its warts and blemishes, it’s still the best one on the planet.”

Isn’t that week one junior high civics?

Bwahahahahahahah

Were’re number 1….. Were’re number 1

roflmmfao

donabernathy on May 10, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Back in the day, his peers would give him some guidance on the proper thing to do.

But, alas, that was then and this is now.

If I were his dad, I’d load the boy up in the car and take him to the nearest VA hospital to visit the wounded. Show the boy that there are folks who would give anything to stand up for the pledge, but can’t as the gave their legs up for freedom.

BacaDog on May 10, 2014 at 5:45 PM

I think an exception could be made in the courts for allowing mandatory recital of the Pledge.

I’ve been really torn on this one. It’s possible that the teacher and principal are seeing this as an obstacles to maintaining respect for authority and discipline in the classroom context. I can understand why they would have this viewpoint.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to encourage compulsory blind allegiance either.

If they are going to pledge allegiance, shouldn’t it be genuine and sincere? Or should it be a rote act of submission to authority?

lineholder on May 10, 2014 at 5:47 PM

In this week’s edition of why you should never hire Jazz as your personal attorney

I am so glad to see Jazz fess up to this.

This kid doesn’t have to say the pledge. We may wish he had no issues with saying the pledge. The pledge is not bad thing, but he doesn’t have to say it.

So this issue was settled 71 years ago. I expect to see this boy get back to school to get the education he is entitled to under the law.

coolrepublica on May 10, 2014 at 5:48 PM

But through it all, I don’t lose sight of the fact that this is our country

Not any more pickle head…

But apparently I’m a relic of history.

In the sense that you still think this nation belongs to it’s citizens, yes, why yes you are. In that you think that The Constitution of the United States still has any legal standing or validity, again, yes you are.

70 percent of America opposed Obamacare, yet somehow it was crammed down our throats even while we screamed objections.

The United states Attorney General was convicted of Contempt of congress, yet he is still in office.

The NSA is blatantly spying on American citizens who have never even been charged with a crime, let alone convicted, in what can only be described as the most gross violation of the Fourth Amendment imaginable.

Over 70 federal agencies now have military armed enforcement officers like the BLM who tried to use military force against the Bundy Family in Nevada so that Harry Reid could steal that they had been grazing their cattle on for 140 years.

Yes Jazz, you most assuredly are a relic of a time that has passed into History in America, a time when America belonged to it’s citizens, and not when the citizens were property of the Federal government.

oscarwilde on May 10, 2014 at 5:48 PM

But through it all, I don’t lose sight of the fact that this is our country, and for all of its warts and blemishes, it’s still the best one on the planet. Try to keep hold of that, son, no matter what your parents are pushing this week.

I don’t know, sounds like the kid has a better grasp on the condition of this country then Jazz does.

lowandslow on May 10, 2014 at 5:49 PM

You know, this kid could have stood and then NOT recited the pledge. Kept quiet. But he was looking for trouble. He got it. And now the media creates a brouhaha.

And this is the kind of crap we concern ourselves with while Rome is burning.

The kid should stand in deference to school rules of conduct and keep his yap shut if that’s how he feels. End of story.

But why do I think this will also be front page / tv stuff on Fox, CNN, etc.

Another 15 minutes of “fame” for another dolt. And more distraction for Kardashian-America.

MistyLane on May 10, 2014 at 5:49 PM

I don’t know how you make somebody say the pledge. You can say he must stand, but then he must, what, move his lips? Audible peeps at a minimum decibel level must be emitted from his mouth? Let the kid have some freedom of thought, however misguided. He’s not in the army.

Allahs vulva on May 10, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Ahhhhhhhh…..

the Pledge of Allegiance was created by Socialist Francis Bellamy, the original Bellamy salute to the United States flag when reciting the Pledge was the EXACT SAME ONE that the National Socialists (Nazis) used to salute Hitler (and the Italians used for Fascist Mussolini, for that matter). The salute was changed to placing one’s hand over one’s heart only after we entered World War II.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/Students_pledging_allegiance_to_the_American_flag_with_the_Bellamy_salute.jpg

yep…..

The school system in general and the pledge in particular perfectly fulfilling their roles: distracting politically-minded Americans from the actions of their criminal government while simultaneously inciting them to compete with each other in a game of “who’s more patriotic” and “who’s more dedicated to the founding principles of our country,” trumping up the glories of the state the whole time.

The foreign butchery in our name continues while our economy is sucked dry and the Bill of Rights mutilated by the parasites in Washington, and all that some people can worry about is a Pledge of Allegiance to the state.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on May 10, 2014 at 6:00 PM

I’m one of the biggest flag-waving “rah-rah” Americans you could ever meet. Every single apartment/house I’ve lived in over the years, my first order of business was to put up an American flag. And when I moved, I left it for the new tenants. My ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War (Union), WW1, and WW2. My father was a Marine based on the USS Essex during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I would have been a Marine if not for a few fused vertebrae.

That being said…when we, as Americans, would collectively force students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, we stop being the beacon of freedom that the world should look up to…or as Ronald Reagan put it, that “shining city on a hill”. It’s one thing to instil a set of values in young children. A child of 7 would have the cognitive ability to know what the Pledge is…a child of 12 would know more, but still young. But a 15 year old is old enough to be able to begin, at least, understanding current political events and have a decent, if general, grasp on US history.

Penalizing a 15 year old kid for simply not standing and reciting the pledge isn’t going to make him or her go out and sing “God Bless America”. If he’s been doing this for a certain length of time, there hasn’t been any instance of any trouble arising out of it. Until this “new” teacher flipped out.

This kid is at the age where he thinks he knows everything. He could easily change his mind in a year…two years…or maybe never. Let that be his choice. But forcing “patriotism” down anyone’s throat sounds far too much like the tactic of fascists and communists than it does American democracy. Let him sit through the pledge, and make up his own mind.

JetBoy on May 10, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Fine. He obviously wants to ‘stand out’. So let him stand (or sit) outside while the pledge is being recited.

GarandFan on May 10, 2014 at 6:05 PM

You’re so far off target it’s scary, Jazz.

West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette concerned students who were Jehovah’s Witnesses. They believe in not pledging allegiance to anything other than God. They believe in staying apart from a number of worldly activities in this fashion. Point is, it’s a sincerely held religious belief. Ah, but they’re just children, we might say, as you do. And if the parents are denying the children the lesson you apparently see in the Pledge, perhaps the parents are bad and the school has a right to contradict them. Or maybe we’d just say the religious students get an exemption because it’s a religious reason.

Yet speech is an important freedom too. And it is true that students in school do not have full constitutional rights of expression. The courts have held that student expression is protected as long as it is not disruptive. In a million other contexts, you might say this is a great principle. Arm bands during Vietnam War, t-shirts supporting the Second Amendment, any number of forms of free expression that should be allowed. We must always look to the principle and not how great (or terrible) we think a particular expression is. I have sympathy for Justice Thomas’s dissent on cross-burning, believing cross-burning is de facto intimidation, not expression, and should thus not be protected. But in the end, I prefer not carving out all kinds of exceptions and special cases based on the content of the speech.

Crispian on May 10, 2014 at 6:06 PM

roflmmfao

donabernathy on May 10, 2014 at 5:39 PM

You may have something interesting to say, but this is tedious and not remotely clever, yet you insist on it in every single post.

DrMagnolias on May 10, 2014 at 6:08 PM

I think he should be given a reality show.

butch on May 10, 2014 at 6:09 PM

roflmmfao

donabernathy on May 10, 2014 at 5:39 PM
You may have something interesting to say, but this is tedious and not remotely clever, yet you insist on it in every single post.

DrMagnolias on May 10, 2014 at 6:08 PM

It beats cry’n

roflmmfao

donabernathy on May 10, 2014 at 6:12 PM

In a 6-3 opinion, the Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional and that no student could be forced to recite the Pledge:

That seems like a weird decision. So you can be forced to be in school but not be forced to do what they do in school? What’s the point of having a public school system at all then?

WhatSlushfund on May 10, 2014 at 6:13 PM

donabernathy on May 10, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Hey, I understand the desire to cry, but that’s a bit much.

DrMagnolias on May 10, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Back in the day, his peers would give him some guidance on the proper thing to do.

But, alas, that was then and this is now.

If I were his dad, I’d load the boy up in the car and take him to the nearest VA hospital to visit the wounded. Show the boy that there are folks who would give anything to stand up for the pledge, but can’t as the gave their legs up for freedom.

BacaDog on May 10, 2014 at 5:45 PM

This.

TinFin on May 10, 2014 at 6:14 PM

I think an exception could be made in the courts for allowing mandatory recital of the Pledge.

I think compulsory recitation of the Our Father/Lord’s Prayer would be an exceptional idea.

Can’t hurt the kids to just stand and say a quick little prayer, right?
We restrict their Constitutional rights for their own good, don’t we?
Community standards, blah, blah?

Sorry, compelling even children to recite powerful, meaningful words against their will or against the will of their parents is antithetical to our American experience.

If this particular boy was being snotty to his teacher, then the consequences were no doubt appropriate. If he simply felt that standing was part and parcel of the Pledge, and he didn’t want to participate to any degree, then a smart adult would have found an alternative that also didn’t disrupt the class (as I’m sure this whole “You all stand up! No, I don’t want to. Yes, you will! Or I’ll call the principle!!” disrupted the class- who thoroughly enjoyed the disruption and which didn’t affect learning at all)

I question whether its appropriate for schools to recite the Pledge at all. Isn’t it more appropriate (if ever) in an adult setting?

Dolce Far Niente on May 10, 2014 at 6:16 PM

It works both ways. His reasoning is flawed but he has a right. It’s the same right we have to stand for the flag or have one in our yards. When I was in school there was one student who didn’t stand. She belonged to one of those religions. I’ve forgotten which one. It was just understood she never stood. Nobody made a big deal.

Somebody needs to tell him the flag doesn’t represent the government. It represents our country and the people. Standing for the flag is a statement against the marxist government.

crankyoldlady on May 10, 2014 at 6:17 PM

I don’t know how you make somebody say the pledge. You can say he must stand, but then he must, what, move his lips? Audible peeps at a minimum decibel level must be emitted from his mouth? Let the kid have some freedom of thought, however misguided. He’s not in the army.
Allahs vulva on May 10, 2014 at 5:49 PM

I thought you were going to just lay there and be bored as usual.

AllahsNippleHair on May 10, 2014 at 6:18 PM

crankyoldlady on May 10, 2014 at 6:17 PM

you just nailed it COL. I blame the teacher/school for not “teaching” what the flag stands for.

CoffeeLover on May 10, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Forcing people to say stuff is what they do in communist countries like Russia and China.
THIS IS AMERICA!

weedisgood on May 10, 2014 at 6:21 PM

The school put a bullseye on itself by suspending the student. He cannot be forced to recite the Pledge (most of my students don’t), but he can indeed be required to stand during the Pledge. If he’s not willing to do that, he can be required to remain outside of the classroom until the Pledge is finished. He doesn’t have a right to use the public classroom as a platform for his protest.

The school imposed a remedy they probably cannot support if challenged legally. That’s unfortunate, because they are in the right otherwise.

Hats off to society for sending children to school ready to do battle against ‘the man’ on whether you have to stand or sit at particular times, too! Well done, folks! You get the school system you deserve, and the zero-tolerance policies that follow as a result, lol.

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 6:25 PM

weedisgood on May 10, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Don’t you find it just a wee bit ironic that he is exercising an objection to the very symbol of the country that gives him that right?

BacaDog on May 10, 2014 at 6:27 PM

The American Right: Government coercion is bad, unless it involves ritualistic worship of the nation-state, then you must participate!!!!

libfreeordie on May 10, 2014 at 6:29 PM

In a 6-3 opinion, the Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional and that no student could be forced to recite the Pledge

As I pointed out yo Erika, this case gas to do not with reciting the pledge, but rather with the brat sitting while others recite the pledge – which is not addressed in the Supreme Court decision at all. What that West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette decision banned was forcing students to give the Bellamy salute while reciting a West Virginia type pledge. Doug Maticonis needs a refresher course on this decisiob or at least to be knowledgeable on the specifics of both of these instances.

whatcat on May 10, 2014 at 6:30 PM

I don’t know how you make somebody say the pledge. You can say he must stand, but then he must, what, move his lips? Audible peeps at a minimum decibel level must be emitted from his mouth? Let the kid have some freedom of thought, however misguided. He’s not in the army.

Allahs vulva on May 10, 2014 at 5:49 PM

I thought you were going to just lay there and be bored as usual.

AllahsNippleHair on May 10, 2014 at 6:18 PM

ಠ_ಠ

JetBoy on May 10, 2014 at 6:30 PM

The American Right: Government coercion is bad, unless it involves ritualistic worship of the nation-state, then you must participate!!!!

libfreeordie on May 10, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Another logical fallacy.

You cannot help yourself.

CW on May 10, 2014 at 6:37 PM

In this week’s edition of why you should never hire Jazz as your personal attorney ….

Jazz – If it’s any consolation, I’d hire you as a lawyer before I’d hire you as a blogger.

bw222 on May 10, 2014 at 6:38 PM

“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.”

Ha!!! You think its bad now kid, just wait, it gets worse for you.

Bmore on May 10, 2014 at 6:38 PM

My ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War (Union), WW1, and WW2.
JetBoy on May 10, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Hmmmm…..your family has always had a real hard time getting along with people.

whatcat on May 10, 2014 at 6:38 PM

I blame the teacher/school for not “teaching” what the flag stands for.

CoffeeLover on May 10, 2014 at 6:20 PM

As a teacher of 16 to 18-year-olds, my response is…

…hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Yup. We’re the problem. Parent(ing), or the lack thereof, isn’t.

You don’t seem to get it. Teachers apparently, even by the opinions of many conservatives here, can’t even require a kid to sit or stand. I had a student last year whose parents were annoyed at having to fill out a five-line document with their updated contact information (ironically, they took the time to write down their annoyance on the document! That was good for a laugh). This same student refused to even take out a pencil or paper, for five days running, and said “I HAVE A RIGHT TO BE HERE!” when I informed him he wouldn’t be in my class for long if he continued with such behavior.

You want to know why the public schools are failing? Look to the family (broken) and its ability to transmit moral/ethical behavior and values (nonexistent). The schools have become society’s laundromat. Too many of you drop off your kids, all messed up and incorrigible, and expect them pressed and proper by the end of the day. Too many of you raise your children with an overdeveloped sense of their ‘rights’ and an underdeveloped, or nonexistent, sense of their responsibilities.

But I’m with you. Teachers. It’s on them. They’re the problem! Because…UNIONS!

[insert facepalm pic here]

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 6:40 PM

We restrict children’s rights when it’s a matter that involves their safety, not just when it’s a bunch of tut – tutting outrageously outraged hypocrites.

spinach.chin on May 10, 2014 at 6:40 PM

JetBoy on May 10, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Jetboy supporting underdogs? Whoda thunk? :)

I’m with Jetboy on this. Had the kid been actively disrupting the pledge it’d be one thing – staying silent ad respecting the others saying it is perfectly appropriate.

Would atheists feel the same way about school prayer.

Skywise on May 10, 2014 at 6:46 PM

There’s no more here fact-wise than there was yesterday. There’s more, opinion-wise, but no more facts.

From the story line, we get that he was not required to say the Pledge, but he was required to stand as the rest of the class stood.

So, the big question for me is — what harm was there for him to remain seated? Did he fidget or act disruptively as he sat waiting for the rest of the class to finish?

I’m all on his side with regard to respectfully not participating — since both participation and non-participation are protected under the First Amendment.

Of course, we live in a brave new world, in which the First Amendment is now honored more in the breach than in the observance. For, after all, we now live in a world where photographers must take pictures of gay weddings, and bakers must bake cakes for them, and churches must even host their rituals.

And the attorney above harkens back to a 71-year old case. That’s so — 20th Century!

unclesmrgol on May 10, 2014 at 6:46 PM

I still think suspension was an overreaction, assuming he was just sitting quietly.

Instead of teaching the kids they must submit to authority, teach them about how to respectfully disagree. You don’t want to stand for the Pledge, fine: just don’t cause a disruption for the kids who are reciting it.

malclave on May 10, 2014 at 6:47 PM

But I’m with you. Teachers. It’s on them. They’re the problem! Because…UNIONS!

[insert facepalm pic here]

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Of course. A union will protect the rights of a sex abusing teacher to remain in the classroom nigh unto death!

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10000872396390443437504577547313612049308

unclesmrgol on May 10, 2014 at 6:52 PM

since both participation and non-participation are protected under the First Amendment.

unclesmrgol on May 10, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Not at school, they’re not. You can refuse to participate in reciting the Pledge, without consequence (which is why this kid will win if he challenges it), but you cannot refuse to participate in an assembly, or a class, or a required meeting for seniors regarding graduation procedures (on pain of not being permitted to join the ceremony), or etc., etc., and expect to escape consequences (detention, failure, ejection from the graduation ceremony, etc.).

If you refuse those things (and more), you will face consequences, and you should.

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 6:54 PM

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 6:40 PM

no disrespect. There are some awesome teachers out there. Sadly, few and far between in my experiences.

Can’t argue with you…but it’s not only the family. Unions are a part too…seems you can’t fire a faulty teacher. I include society in general and I can even point to Obama who had to be shamed into wearing the lapel flag pin (nice example he provided).

And by the time they get to you at 15 or 16….I agree, it’s over.

CoffeeLover on May 10, 2014 at 6:54 PM

As a thought exercise, let’s go back in time to a Western nation that was a shining beacon of civilization and which produced marvelous musicians, thinkers, writers, painters and poets.

A nation justly proud of its heritage.

Unfortunately, this nation adopted some National Socialist kind of ideas, and their flag started to stand for something not quite as wholesome as it once did.

The flag that bore the Swastika, the national flag of Germany became the symbol of…what?

Do you think pledging allegiance to that flag, and the republic for which it stood, one nation, indivisible was something a thinking German citizen should have done? Would you, as a German, have had some reservations about what you were pledging allegiance to?

Or not?

Dolce Far Niente on May 10, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Of course. A union will protect the rights of a sex abusing teacher to remain in the classroom nigh unto death!

unclesmrgol on May 10, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Which is why I live and work in a right-to-work state, and why I caution people on sending their kids to public schools in blue states. But let’s blame unions for it all, considering all teachers are unionized! /s

Essentially half the states are right-to-work states, without teacher unions.

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Forcing people to take pledges is anti-American, unless it’s in regard to being sworn in for something, and in the extreme. It goes beyond even taking someones free speech away from them, it forces them to repeat certain proscribed speech. Be it to the now Imperial City DC controled America or to a President or to Islam or any other religion. It is as anti-American as it gets.

VorDaj on May 10, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Dolce Far Niente on May 10, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Comparing the American flag to the swastika?

All I can say is: Watch out for the shark! ;)

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 7:02 PM

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 6:58 PM

I live in a right to work state, too. NEA serves the same purpose as a Union. Same influence on curriculum and policies. Same influence (much of it negative) on quality of education.

That’s why I support school choice in NC.

lineholder on May 10, 2014 at 7:02 PM

the kid, as a student, can be forced to stand.

He can not be forced to recite a pledge.

HugoDrax on May 10, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Once you become an adult, you have all the freedom to trash the country that you like. Join a commune. Burn the flag. Vote for Bernie Sanders.

Don’t encourage them, Jazz.

Stoic Patriot on May 10, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Considering that schools have only a handful of disciplinary options, going right to one of the most severe options over a pretty minor breach of courtesy sounds like the instructor doesn’t have too many managerial abilities in his or her quiver.

I’ve taught tweens, teens, and college kids, and I’ve raised a batch too. I’ve also managed a bunch of surly union guys with low pay and bad attitudes.

My way or the highway is nice sound-bitey kind of thing, and it feels good for a minute, but pragmatically it often leads off into the weeds, like here.

Dolce Far Niente on May 10, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Hello. He’s MAKING A POLITICAL PROTEST.

He isn’t hurting anyone.

He isn’t burning the Flag.

He isn’t defacing public property.

He is attempting to draw attention to the problems of our government, in a very peaceful manner of civil disobedience-at age 15. We should crush this?

I bet 90% of his classmates don’t have a clue about what’s going on in our government. Maybe this will inspire them enough to look into it.

talkingpoints on May 10, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Jetboy supporting underdogs? Whoda thunk? :)

I’m with Jetboy on this. Had the kid been actively disrupting the pledge it’d be one thing – staying silent ad respecting the others saying it is perfectly appropriate.

Skywise on May 10, 2014 at 6:46 PM

It doesn’t get more “under” or “doggier” than the Jets. :P

This kid sitting silently is fine. The first amendment exists not so much to protect popular speech and expression…but that which may not be so popular.

JetBoy on May 10, 2014 at 7:09 PM

That’s why I support school choice in NC.

lineholder on May 10, 2014 at 7:02 PM

The NEA is nonexistent here (Common Core is another issue, but my particular state is close to dumping it). I agree with vouchers. I think every student should receive a voucher for their education and take it to whatever educational institution serves them best. That doesn’t worry me as a public school teacher a bit. Every educational option has positive and negative aspects. Public schools will always have a leg up on extracurricular activities (depth and breadth), while private schools can offer parents a (hopefully) closer match to their own particular religious inclinations or the type of peer they would like their kids around (since we take all comers, we have great kids and gangbangers…the whole gamut). Homeschooling is great for parents who want closer involvement with their child’s upbringing and need a flexible schedule.

Too bad we can’t seem to get this right. At least we’re discussing the important issues, though, like whether requiring this kid to stand during the Pledge is a step toward fascism and Democrat-voter-indoctrination or not, lol. ;)

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Comparing the American flag to the swastika?

All I can say is: Watch out for the shark! ;)

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Did you even bother to think about the question, much less read it? I did not conflate or compare the American flag to the swastika.

Patriotism is often touted as a universal virtue.

Is it always appropriate?

*Don’t be afraid to answer.*

Dolce Far Niente on May 10, 2014 at 7:11 PM

But I’m with you. Teachers. It’s on them. They’re the problem! Because…UNIONS!

[insert facepalm pic here]

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Where they are unionized it’s a big part of the problem. Some of it is due to schools being insanely PC, some due to schools being afraid of lawsuits. And some is due to, as you said, bad parents.

Back in the day, the school could give you what-for and then when you got home the parent(s) would add on their own what-for.

whatcat on May 10, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Too bad we can’t seem to get this right. At least we’re discussing the important issues, though, like whether requiring this kid to stand during the Pledge is a step toward fascism and Democrat-voter-indoctrination or not, lol. ;)

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Your point is valid, even though it’s expressed rather sarcastically in this context.

Why didn’t you emphasize that point earlier?

lineholder on May 10, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Public schools will always have a leg up on extracurricular activities (depth and breadth
xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 7:09 PM

A couple things on that:
Under a voucher system that would change, as the money for such things would increase with the additional students going to non-public schools.

There’s all sorts of extracurricular activities available from arts to sports outside of the school. The internet make it even easier with sites like MeetUp for those who want to find/start such things.

Last, I wouldn’t consider school-centered extracurricular activities as essential anyway. The 3Rs matter. And, at least in my day, kids never had a problem finding stuff to do when school got out for the day. It was the last place we needed government intervention!

whatcat on May 10, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Sounds like the kid was denied his rights, he protested and was punished for it.

mixplix on May 10, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Is it always appropriate?

Dolce Far Niente on May 10, 2014 at 7:11 PM

You obviously enjoy hypothetical and theoretical constructs. We’re dealing with a real-world situation which requires a decision, not mental gymnastics and rhetorical jiu jitsu.

Why didn’t you emphasize that point earlier?

lineholder on May 10, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Emphasize what point? The point that people who see being required to stand during the Pledge as a step toward fascism and Democrat-voter-registration are nuts? Okay, I’ll emphasize that point. They’re nuts.

Or the point that vouchers would be a great idea? Okay, I’ll emphasize that point. Vouchers are a great idea.

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Sorry, but requiring an oath of allegiance because he’s not an “adult” yet is making sausage of the Constitution. It sounds like the kid has given more adult thought to the issue than many adults I know.

It is this nation that gives him the right to his opinion and his actions, if not harming anyone else. I do NOT have to agree with him. Which is, after all, the point.

IndieDogg on May 10, 2014 at 7:34 PM

I said the Pledge when I was under 18 at school, even in private high school.

Any kid that didn’t was of course a communist b*ast*rd and everybody knew it and we would have let the budding Lenin know in certain ‘afterschool / one foot off school property’ terms.

We were not racist at all either because if you didn’t say the Pledge you were a commie regardless of race.

Nowadays its the reverse. If you are not Prog the kids won’t give you freedom of speech.

KirknBurker on May 10, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Let him do the suspension. Wouldn’t be much of a protest if he didn’t get into any trouble over it. Now, I don’t care if he recites the pledge. He doesn’t even have to stand at attention. But he could at least stand, if for no other reason than the teacher told him to.

eclark1849 on May 10, 2014 at 7:37 PM

So according to HotAir.com, “trashing your country” = a 15 year old who refuses to stand for the pledge of allegiance (which was written by a socialist btw) because he wants to protest NSA spying?

I’m impressed by the number of commenters here who “get” it, but it ain’t enough.

Looks like I’m gonna have to find another browser homepage after all these years.

Kathy Shaidle on May 10, 2014 at 7:38 PM

It’s a loyalty oath….those never wear off and don’t need daily recital. But here’s what, Jazz Shaw, no American should, and none but progressives would, say that pledge if they knew where it came from and what it was supposed to accomplish for the author and some of his creepier ideas…,commercially and philosophically.

I always rise in respect of the people who didn’t know any better, but that socialist Bellamy will never have me mouthing his words again.

SarahW on May 10, 2014 at 7:38 PM

In my humble opinion, as a kid who said the pledge dutifully and sincerely every single day I went to school, I think that standing for the pledge is part of the ritual. If he’s declining to take part in that ritual, of course he shouldn’t be made to stand. The teacher doesn’t have to let him stay in the classroom during the pledge, but complete suspension is entirely unreasonable.

Cheshire_Kat on May 10, 2014 at 7:41 PM

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 7:33 PM

I actually think he should stand, out of respect for the teacher and the other students.

I don’t agree that he should be forced into compliance or stating blind allegiance to the flag, simply out of rote, mindless submission to authority. Not at 15 years of age.

I would love to hear how he differentiates between allegiance to the USA, as a nation, and the government of the nation.

lineholder on May 10, 2014 at 7:44 PM

We limit the constitutional rights of children all the time, and judging by other cases which Doug and I have argued in the past, I believe he knows that as well. We don’t let children vote to elect our representatives. We limit their access to potentially dangerous substances and activities. They generally can’t even get a tattoo or have an aspirin issued to them in school without an adult’s supervision and consent. Why?

Because they are children.

Jazz you’ve lumped a bunch of restrictions together which have many different reasons for children not being allowed to do things. Tattoos are with parental consent and have nothing to do with schools. Aspirin in schools is more an issue of school liability than anything to do with the child being responsible enough.

And while you are right there are limitations, you totally ignore the age range issue, lumping kindergarteners with seniors in HS, in your appeal to, what, not prohibit him from doing something that may be harmful to himself or others, but to force the kid to do something that shouldn’t have any effect at all on himself or others. And the kid is a sophomore, to boot, not a kindergartner.

I can’t believe I have to explain this to you. It’s people like you with your “formative years” efforts to brainwash on any subject which the majority of the community finds appropriate because they need “all the guidance they can get” that has pretty much ruined the public school system while at twice the cost. How about you pay attention to having the basics taught and quit with the progressive style molding of minds. You want your kids’ minds molded, fine let your teachers do it, but keep your effin’ hands off mine.

Dusty on May 10, 2014 at 7:45 PM

They generally can’t even get a tattoo or have an aspirin issued to them in school without an adult’s supervision and consent. Why?

but they can get an abortion.

dmacleo on May 10, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Perhaps young Mason Michalec should stand for the pledge but use the original salute given when it was invented by a socialist preacher named Francis Bellamy to aid his brother Edward in promoting his nationalistic, socialist Utopian ideas throughout America. (It worked.)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/Students_pledging_allegiance_to_the_American_flag_with_the_Bellamy_salute.jpg

spiff on May 10, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Why can’t he just compromise and give the original Bellamy salute?

PersonFromPorlock on May 10, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Damn, spiff. Missed it by that much.

PersonFromPorlock on May 10, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Allegiance to the republic for which it stands is NOT allegiance to those who “govern” us. In fact, in many cases the exact opposite is true.

S. D. on May 10, 2014 at 7:59 PM

And the kid is a sophomore, to boot, not a kindergartner.
Dusty on May 10, 2014 at 7:45 PM

So, at what age is a kid allowed to refuse to follow school rules then?

whatcat on May 10, 2014 at 8:06 PM

[JetBoy on May 10, 2014 at 6:03 PM]

Nice comment, Jetboy.

Dusty on May 10, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Damn, spiff. Missed it by that much.
PersonFromPorlock on May 10, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Check the Bellamy salute link in my first comment – you missed it by a little more than that much!
:D

whatcat on May 10, 2014 at 8:08 PM

So, at what age is a kid allowed to refuse to follow school rules then?

[whatcat on May 10, 2014 at 8:06 PM]

Which rule? The school rule that requires kids undress for picture taking every morning? Oh, wait would be an inappropriate rule, just like the rule that children can be forced to recite the pledge.

Ask me when we are talking about a specific appropriate rule that the Supreme Court hasn’t weighed in on, whatcat, and I’ll consider your question seriously.

Dusty on May 10, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Which rule? The school rule that requires kids undress for picture taking every morning? Oh, wait would be an inappropriate rule, just like the rule that children can be forced to recite the pledge.

It’s really quite difficult to compare your famtasy “rule” to the reality that the rest of us are discussing here.

Ask me when we are talking about a specific appropriate rule that the Supreme Court hasn’t weighed in on, whatcat, and I’ll consider your question seriously.
Dusty on May 10, 2014 at 8:13 PM

I addressed that in my first comment on the thread – the ruling doesn’t speak to the incident in this case. Scroll up.

Then have a go at answering the question I posed regarding the age at which students can ignore school rules.

As a second, bonus question, define “appropriate”.

whatcat on May 10, 2014 at 8:22 PM

School rules are screwy. You can’t skip school but a girl can walk off campus to get an abortion.

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

The American Right: Government coercion is bad, unless it involves ritualistic worship of the nation-state, then you must participate!!!!

libfreeorgan on May 10, 2014 at 6:29 PM

…piss on yah!

KOOLAID2 on May 10, 2014 at 8:33 PM

It’s really quite difficult to compare your famtasy “rule” to the reality that the rest of us are discussing here.

I addressed that in my first comment on the thread – the ruling doesn’t speak to the incident in this case. Scroll up.

A distinction without a difference. The reason for standing is to say/respect the pledge. It’s unconstitutional as far as I’m concerned and as a parent of my child my decision holds.

As for your facetious question, it depends. Give me the rule, the reason for the rule, and the age, sex and religion of the child who must adhere to it.

Dusty on May 10, 2014 at 8:39 PM

You obviously enjoy hypothetical and theoretical constructs. We’re dealing with a real-world situation which requires a decision, not mental gymnastics and rhetorical jiu jitsu.

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Funny. A democracy turning into a fascist state isn’t really something that requires hypothetical jiu jitsu and mental gymnastics. Nazi Germany was a real place- I knew real people who were German citizens during that time. They actually faced the issue of remaining loyal to the country of their birth.

What I’m hearing you say is “I refuse to answer a simple theoretical question because it might undermine my knee-jerk support of the teacher in this situation”.

Doesn’t matter.

I’ll state unequivocally that leaping immediately to a suspension over this minor breach of courtesy proves the teacher lacks the judgment necessary to handle teenagers.

I can think of half a dozen real-world ways to respond to the non-standing student, none of which would have disrupted the class to the extent this teacher did and none of which would have garnered national attention. Could even have led to some excellent civics lessons.

But hey, learning.

Dolce Far Niente on May 10, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Good for that kid. I stopped the Pledge and standing at the Star Spangled Banner at sporting events several years ago. Yeah, I’m an ex- Army field artillery officer but I no longer consider myself a willing American. The communists have taken the country over, or I should say it was handed to them by the American public. The flag is the same, we still have the dollar bill, but this country is totally different from the one I grew up in. I’m 63 now and don’t care who knows this.

I’m too old to go to some new place, plus the world pretty much has turned to leftists everywhere I look. So I’ll spent the rest of life here, but have zero enthusiasm for such a leftist, pagan place.

BillCarson on May 10, 2014 at 9:06 PM

A distinction without a difference.

Dusty on May 10, 2014 at 8:39 PM

In questions of the law, distinctions ARE ‘the difference.’ You don’t have to say the Pledge (that is the limitation of the SCOTUS ruling), but you’re not entitled to use the classroom as your protest platform. Period.

That this is difficult for so many conservatives here speaks to the complete breakdown of any respect for the flag, country, your classmates, your teacher, the families of those who have served, those who have served and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

Stand the hell up or get out. School is for learning, not a soapbox for your personal protests and opinions. You carry your protest to school, the school has the right to remove you from the educational environment so that you don’t disrupt and impede the education of those who are actually there to learn, not to exercise their ‘rights’ so as to force the faculty and staff to play whack-a-mole with stupid distractions.

I’m sure The Greatest Generation would be completely on board with many of you, however! After all, those meddling teachers asking their students to sit, stand, write, work…who needs that BS? Those kids have RIGHTS!

[rolling eyes of doom]

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Mandatory recital of anything is too commie.

If the kid wants to be silly, it’s on him. Kids are brutal to each other as I am sure everyone can remember.

Moesart on May 10, 2014 at 9:12 PM

A distinction without a difference.

You must have gone to quite a school – no kids publicly undressed at mine. But yeah, it’s pretty much like standing up. Getting nekkid – standing up, interchangeable. I mean, if a guy gets a little mixed up and undresses when a woman enters a room instead of standing, who are we to blame him? Hasn’t that happened to all of us?

The reason for standing is to say/respect the pledge.

Again, look upthread – as someone else noted, the reason for him to stand would be out of respect for his fellow students and basic manners. He can keep mum and check out the behind of the gal/guy/whatever in the next seat or just keep on thinkin’ his deep civics comprehension thoughts.

It’s unconstitutional as far as I’m concerned and as a parent of my child my decision holds.

That opinion and a dollar will buy you a cup of coffee, with maybe a refill. Other parents have their opinions. And that’s fine, that’s life.

As for your facetious question, it depends. Give me the rule, the reason for the rule, and the age, sex and religion of the child who must adhere to it.

Not facetious at all, since it was part of your argument that the kid should be excluded from the rule because he was a sophomore. I just asked when – at what age/grade the “no rules” rule kicks in. I believe if you think about it you’ll see the age thing reallt wasn’t a strong point in your argument.

whatcat on May 10, 2014 at 9:13 PM

Nazi Germany was a real place.

Dolce Far Niente on May 10, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Godwinned! [rolling eyes]

I don’t carry on hyperbolic hypothetical conversations with lunatic comparisons such as you made, thanks. You’ve jumped the shark, Fonzie.

I’ll state unequivocally that leaping immediately to a suspension over this minor breach of courtesy proves the teacher lacks the judgment necessary to handle teenagers.

Dolce Far Niente on May 10, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Look before YOU leap. No teacher has the authority to suspend anyone. All the teacher can do is call/contact an administrator. A teacher can’t even keep you out of the classroom if the administrator wants you back in there. If you want to criticize anyone for the suspension, the administration would be the target. Nice to see you apparently have all the facts on hand to do that, since you know that this kid has a clean disciplinary record and this is simply a matter of overreach/overreaction on the part of the school.

You work there, right? You read the file?

The right to refuse to stand at school. What will conservatives fight for next? [facepalm]

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 9:15 PM

After all, those meddling teachers asking their students to sit, stand, write, work…who needs that BS? Those kids have RIGHTS!
[rolling eyes of doom]
xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Y’know, if we were talking about making a kid match in a Tea Party parade or a “gay” parade, that would get my hackles up. But I can’t get too worked up over a kid being told to stand.
Well, unless Joe Biden is the teacher and the kid in question is in a wheelchair.

whatcat on May 10, 2014 at 9:20 PM

Stop the State indoctrination is what I say!

BushyGreen on May 10, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Kick the kid’s @ss and send him back to Mexico.

Oh, wait. Do these comments make my words look bigot?

locomotivebreath1901 on May 10, 2014 at 9:36 PM

It’s unAmerican to force anyone to say anything. Even kids, Jazz.

J.B. Say on May 10, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Let’s look at the actual wording of the West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette ruling…

“If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”

Now…. let’s vote on who thinks that standing is an “act.” Everyone raise their hands if you agree.

And let’s consider WHY people “stand” for the recitation of the pledge instead of just setting down and saying it in their seats. Once you answer that question it becomes pretty obvious that this student’s actions, or lack thereof, are well protected under the SCOTUS ruling.

JackBurtonJr on May 10, 2014 at 10:05 PM

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

The origin of the Pledge is irrelevant, because that did not become part of the ritual, which was quickly appropriated by other-than-socialist Americans. Today, the Pledge is almost anathema to the Left, and is the mainstay of the Boy Scouts of America — which provides the Honor Guard for nearly every Flag Ceremony at civic events that is not performed by adult members of the Armed Forces.

It is an oath of allegiance, and should not be undertaken lightly, by those whose age makes them accountable for their actions, which includes 15-year-old students.

Oaths cannot be mandatory, or else they have no meaning.

Sir Thomas More, in “A Man For All Seasons”, is told by his wife that he should take the oath King Henry requires of him and save his life, because God will know he made it under threat of death, and will not hold him to it.

More replies, essentially, that his oath is “his soul in his hands, like water”, and he cannot take an oath he knows he does not believe in.

That being said…when we, as Americans, would collectively force students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, we stop being the beacon of freedom that the world should look up to…or as Ronald Reagan put it, that “shining city on a hill”. It’s one thing to instil a set of values in young children. A child of 7 would have the cognitive ability to know what the Pledge is…a child of 12 would know more, but still young. But a 15 year old is old enough to be able to begin, at least, understanding current political events and have a decent, if general, grasp on US history.

Penalizing a 15 year old kid for simply not standing and reciting the pledge isn’t going to make him or her go out and sing “God Bless America”. If he’s been doing this for a certain length of time, there hasn’t been any instance of any trouble arising out of it. Until this “new” teacher flipped out.

This kid is at the age where he thinks he knows everything. He could easily change his mind in a year…two years…or maybe never. Let that be his choice. But forcing “patriotism” down anyone’s throat sounds far too much like the tactic of fascists and communists than it does American democracy. Let him sit through the pledge, and make up his own mind.

JetBoy on May 10, 2014 at 6:03 PM

I can think of half a dozen real-world ways to respond to the non-standing student, none of which would have disrupted the class to the extent this teacher did and none of which would have garnered national attention. Could even have led to some excellent civics lessons.

Dolce Far Niente on May 10, 2014 at 9:01 PM

When this was first mentioned last night, I wrote a post kind of along the above lines that the the auto-repeat ate, so I’ll just borrow.

What should be mandatory for children, for learning, must not be mandatory for youth, who should be thinking about what they have learned, and deciding whether they agree with it or not.

If that disrupts your classroom, maybe you should be thinking about what you are teaching by your own actions.

AesopFan on May 10, 2014 at 10:10 PM

Stand the hell up or get out. School is for learning, not a soapbox for your personal protests and opinions. [...]

I’m sure The Greatest Generation would be completely on board with many of you, however! After all, those meddling teachers asking their students to sit, stand, write, work…who needs that BS? Those kids have RIGHTS!

xNavigator

Students do not have the right to leave. They are coerced into attendance until they come of age. As for them having “RIGHTS,” yes, they do. And they are endowed by those inalienable rights by their Creator, not by you. Students have the right to speech, protest, etc. I’m willing to bet most of the “force him to say it and/or stand” crowd would howl the loudest if “God” was changed to “Allah” or “Goddess.”

kc-anathema on May 10, 2014 at 10:14 PM

And let’s consider WHY people “stand” for the recitation of the pledge instead of just setting down and saying it in their seats.

And once again you’re left with the reality that the SCOTUS ruling on the Pledge does not give the student the right to use the classroom as a platform for his/her protest. You want to ignore your school’s requirement that you stand during the Pledge? There’s the door. ————> [] See you after the Pledge is complete.

Your analysis is dubious at best. School officials cannot compel you to recite the Pledge, but they have wide latitude (perhaps too wide in some cases) in determining what is disruptive or not for the educational environment.

Where this school overstepped is in suspending the kid. That probably won’t pass muster in court, unless he has extenuating circumstances (a history of this behavior, etc.).

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Kids shouldn’t be forced to say the pledge any more than adults should be forced to profess (or recant) belief in Christ in order to hold a government job. That’s one of the reasons why we have a Bill of Rights in the first place. In other words, this kid is free to act childish if he so chooses without being punished by the state.

I’m not so quick to assume this kid is wrong, by the way. Most kids have their heads up their backsides, but at the same time he may just be exercising his own First Amendment rights by refusing to pledge allegiance to a government that he finds to be engaged in tyrannical acts. Could even be a form of patriotism when seen in that light.

hamiltmc on May 10, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Students do not have the right to leave. They are coerced into attendance until they come of age.

kc-anathema on May 10, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Wrong. They are not coerced to go to public school. They can attend a private school and/or homeschool. You are not a victim if you send your kid to public school. You’ve made a choice. Deal with it.

As for them having “RIGHTS,” yes, they do. And they are endowed by those inalienable rights by their Creator, not by you.

kc-anathema on May 10, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Students’ rights are limited, a reality that the SCOTUS has affirmed. You may not like it, but their rights in the school building are governed in large part by the parameters set by the school in support of its educational purpose. Additionally, while I agree with you regarding the ultimate source of our rights, that is immaterial in terms of your rights in a public school. It’s a non sequitur. It has no bearing. Whining at others about it won’t help.

Students have the right to speech, protest, etc. I’m willing to bet most of the “force him to say it and/or stand” crowd would howl the loudest if “God” was changed to “Allah” or “Goddess.”

kc-anathema on May 10, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Student speech rights are limited at school, per SCOTUS rulings. I don’t see many people advocating he be forced to say the Pledge, either, so you might want to light that strawman up and burn it off of your rhetorical rampage, since it adds nothing. As for God, Allah, or Goddess, are you in the right thread? Just mention Hitler and Godwin the thread already, please! LOL.

xNavigator on May 10, 2014 at 10:21 PM

And let’s consider WHY people “stand” for the recitation of the pledge instead of just setting down and saying it in their seats.
JackBurtonJr on May 10, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Since he was not pledging allegiance it would be a show of respect and basic manners towards one’s classmates, teacher and the school setting itself. Sorry, but this is no great political statement or human rights cause. It’s just some dopey kid who’s going through the common teen I-know-it-all stage acting up in school. No more, no less – no matter how much somebody’s precious little snowflake stomps his feet.

whatcat on May 10, 2014 at 10:25 PM

And once again you’re left with the reality that the SCOTUS ruling on the Pledge does not give the student the right to use the classroom as a platform for his/her protest. You want to ignore your school’s requirement that you stand during the Pledge? There’s the door. ————> [] See you after the Pledge is complete.

Your analysis is dubious at best. School officials cannot compel you to recite the Pledge, but they have wide latitude (perhaps too wide in some cases) in determining what is disruptive or not for the educational environment.

Where this school overstepped is in suspending the kid. That probably won’t pass muster in court, unless he has extenuating circumstances (a history of this behavior, etc.).

It certainly gives the student the right not to stand. Unless you have a unique understanding of the specific word “act” that SCOTUS used.

JackBurtonJr on May 10, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Wrong. They are not coerced to go to public school.

Explain that to the truant officer, eh

Students’ rights are limited, a reality that the SCOTUS has affirmed. You may not like it, but their rights in the school building are governed in large part by the parameters set by the school in support of its educational purpose. Additionally, while I agree with you regarding the ultimate source of our rights, that is immaterial in terms of your rights in a public school. It’s a non sequitur. It has no bearing. Whining at others about it won’t help.

Does the name “Tinker” ring any bell? No, of course not.

Student speech rights are limited at school, per SCOTUS rulings.

Students have quite a number of speech rights at school, per SCOTUS rulings.

JackBurtonJr on May 10, 2014 at 10:33 PM

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