The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that government schools couldn’t force students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States. Schools get around this ruling by asking but not forcing students to recite the Pledge monthly, weekly, or for students in Mariner High School, on a daily basis.
This past year, the Mariner High School board changed the pledge recitation from weekly to daily. The Mariner student-body president is fighting back. She is leading a campaign to convince the school board to stop the daily pledge ritual.
Since Mariner students already do not have to recite the pledge, many of them protest the pledge by pounding their chests or improvising words. Some students say that the daily pledge is an attack on their intellectual independence and makes them act like robots.
“It’s like a brainwashing technique,” said student Sheila King. “You can’t pound someone into patriotism.”
Mariner students already do not have to recite the pledge but many of them engage in the daily ritual to avoid making trouble. In addition, many teachers do not tell students that they have a right to sit during the pledge due a the 1943 Supreme Court decision.
The court’s opinion stated, “We think the action of the local authorities in compelling the flag salute and pledge transcends constitutional limitations on their power and invades the sphere of intellect and spirit which it is the purpose of the First Amendment to our Constitution to reserve from all official control.
We set up government by consent of the governed, and the Bill of Rights denies those in power any legal opportunity to coerce that consent. Authority here is to be controlled by public opinion, not public opinion by authority.”
Veteran organizations are often the lobbyists who persuade school boards to embrace a daily pledge. Presumably, since a raised flag is the symbol of a victorious battle, the veterans would like students to commemorate the efforts of American soldiers.
Ironically, these veteran groups are ridiculing the efforts of deceased American soldiers who fought to preserve the Constitutional freedoms of the United States. Many deceased soldiers would be shocked to see the American government force its citizens to recite a pledge, much like Hitler forced German citizens to salute him with a raised hand.
They would be equally shocked to find that government teachers routinely neglect to tell students their rights. Most students do not know they do not have to recite the pledge. More astonishing is that many government teachers and school lawyers think students must recite the pledge.
The general counsel for the Washington Education Association, said he thought students must have a “religious or philosophical” reason not to say the pledge. If they don’t, they’re simply failing to follow teachers’ directives and threatening classroom order.
However, a Seattle spokesman for the ACLU said. “You don’t have to explain the basis for your unwillingnessâ€¦it’s not practicable or reasonable for the government to stage inquisitions into people’s motives for why they don’t want to participate.”
Therefore, remember that you have to right to not recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States. You may sit in your chair without fear of punishment.
If your government teacher tries to punish you for taking advantage of your Constitutional rights, then you can mention the 1943 Supreme Court Decision that affirmed your right to not recite the pledge. If they still want to mess with you, then you have the right to sue them for violating your rights.
It is more patriotic to stand up for your rights than to stand up for the pledge.