Student expelled for refusing to say “under God” during Pledge.

You knew it was only a matter of time before the very thing all the “under God” supporters said would never happen to someone who refused to speak the words would eventually, in fact, happen. Seems down in Cincinnati a high school student was removed from class over the Pledge:

A Franklin High School drama teacher kicked a junior out of her class Friday for refusing to say “Under God” while reading the Pledge of Allegiance over the P-A system during morning announcements.

The teacher says she met with the student, his father and administrators before deciding to remove him. The ACLU expressed serious concern Thursday and it’s investigating.

So now when people ask me why I support banning mandatory Pledge recitals in it’s current form from schools I’ll just point to this news article as a good example. Don’t tell me kids who object won’t be punished for their dissent as it’s already happening.

I have a problem with trying to teach patriotism by coercion and rote recital anyway because A) it smacks more of indoctrination than education and B) the kids usually haven’t a clue what the hell it means any how so there’s little, if any, actual feelings of patriotism being generated in them. True patriotism isn’t something that comes from being forced to say a handful of lines in a set form with any dissent grounds for punishment. You can’t force it and trying to do so will just breed resentment which is the exact opposite emotion.

10 thoughts on “Student expelled for refusing to say “under God” during Pledge.

  1. What a crazy country.  The stupid pledge we had to recite “I honour my God, I serve my queen, I am loyal to my school and country” went right out the window here a long time ago.  I never used to say it, not because of the God thing,  but because my parents (my father’s grandfather was in the IRA) would not permit me to pledge allegience to the queen under any circumstances.  The teachers didn’t seem to care, but they were probably too drunk in hindsight.

  2. I’m all out of arguements! Fuck you God! Fuck the Queen! For christ sakes, the QUEEN? What the fuck has she done for us lately?
    I remember when I was in grade 2, there were two grade 2 classes in the school. My class had to say a prayer every morning, and the other class had to sing the national anthem. I have no problem with the national anthem, except that these days not everyone in the class is from the same country, so if we must sing the American national anthem, or the Canadian national anthem, we should have to sing all the anthems of all the nationalities in the school!
    As for the prayer every morning…if I was the genius I am now, when I was 6 years old, I would have spoke out, and refused to the read the fucking thing. Self proclaimed genius mind you, but genius nonetheless!
    So the point is, school is for learning your ABC’s, and your x=y(x)! Not pledging allegence to your country, or prayer to your God. Do that on your own time, because just because we all go to the same school does not mean we all salute the same fucking flag, and it does not mean we are all stupid enough to waste time praying to a God!

  3. As much of an irritable old atheist as I can be at times I will not begrudge someone whatever small comfort they can find in religion. In some cases I think religion can even be beneficial for individuals down on their luck and in need of…something. What I object to is a group, ANY GROUP, that seeks to use the power of the judicial and legal system to deny a choice to others. If you want to say under God during the pledge feel free, if I want to omit that phrase from the pledge that should be my choice, and if someone else wants to opt not to say the pledge at all more power to them.

    In the America I grew up in (way back in the 70’s)
    we tolerated diversity, sometimes uneasily, but if it wasn’t hurting anyone why complain? Sure there were assholes that burned crosses or beat up homosexuals but they were in the minority. What happened? When did the narrow minded minority take over?

  4. This is insane—it’s only going to get worse; some kids got into a fight at a huge (15-20k) rodeo for not “standing up” while “God Bless the USA” or whatever that stupid country song is called was played.

  5. I always assumed that standing or pledging to the flag was optional, but was commonly misinterpreted by lower life forms.

    Can someone confirm, and preferably cite a definitive source (legal code) that pledging to the flag is a requirement of all schoolchildren?

    What happened in this article is bad. But I just don’t think the school has any legal authority to do this. Which means that changing or making laws won’t help. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    -Bob

  6. Bob, officially speaking the Supreme Court has ruled on a couple of occasions that students can’t be compelled to stand and recite the Pledge. That hasn’t stopped some places from trying to enact laws requiring Pledge recital. Some have included an option allowing folks to opt out and some haven’t. Technically the SCOTUS decision overrides any laws that compel participation, but that doesn’t get your kid his time back after being suspended for refusing to participate.

  7. Technically the SCOTUS decision overrides any laws that compel participation, but that doesn’t get your kid his time back after being suspended for refusing to participate.

    The ACLU has been assisting is cases where students have been suspended for not standing or reciting the POA.  I wonder if it might be possible for a student’s parents to win monetary damages for illegal school suspension.

  8. In the America I grew up in (way back in the 70’s) we tolerated diversity, sometimes uneasily, but if it wasn’t hurting anyone why complain? Sure there were assholes that burned crosses or beat up homosexuals but they were in the minority.

    I also grew up in the 70’s.  Even in the 1970’s, people who burned crosses or beat up homosexuals were not “not hurting anybody” and were not part of “tolerating diversity”.  Somebody who thinks that assholes burning crosses or beating up homosexuals should be tolerated really needs to reevaluate their own morality and conscience.  People who burn crosses or beat up homosexuals are criminals and must not be tolerated.

  9. Itdontmatter, I think Eric was contrasting tolerating diversity with people beating up homosexuals. He wasn’t saying they were same, he was saying they were different. I wasn’t alive in the 70’s, so I can’t comment on the accuracy, but that’s how I read it.

    Thanks, Les. That’s how I understood it, too. I agree with you that even asking children to commit a group pledge is wrong. Teachers that don’t understand what a pledge is magnify an already bad situation.

    -Bob

  10. Bit of a jump this, but I reckon Fundies are getting scared. I’ll have to dig up the citation, but Dawkins has put together an organisation in the UK to fight the religious indoctrination of students (and research the reasons behind some peoples susceptibility to irrational belief), with the predictable result that all our “spiritual” leaders are up in arms, spouting off about the need for religious guidance for the young and the impending collapse of civilization if we are so rash as to present them with the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. I know that the pledge you American chaps make has a great deal of cultural significance beyond the religious bit, and I am in no way attempting to mock it, but such an over-the-top response to what seems a minor amendment does seem to have some degree of ulterior motivation

    What I think it boils down to is now that science can offer believable mechanisms for the creation of our universe and everything in it (including ourselves) without the requirement for any supernatural intervention, religion is starting to seem superfluous to the enquiring minds that might once have looked to it as a source of explanation. That’s got to be worrying to the leadership – hence all the defensive over-reactions.

    Well, that’s my take on it. What do you think: bollocks, or a hint of truth?

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