Out in the state of Washington they have a law requiring the school day to begin with a student recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and at Spanaway Lake High School the broadcasting class selects a student from the class to deliever this Pledge every week over the school’s TV monitors while images of a flag fluttering patriotically in the wind are shown onscreen. When it came time for senior Kenny Hess to recite the Pledge for the broadcast he decided to leave out the ‘under God’ part and now he’s being punished for it.
On Tuesday, several Spanaway Lake students and teachers complained after hearing the altered pledge.
On Wednesday, school officials told Hess he would be permitted only to read books during his broadcasting class.
Hess, 18, plans a career in broadcasting and wants to finish his assignments.
“I want my privileges back,” he said. “It’s not right to take them away.”
School officials said Hess should have chosen to write an article for the school paper or produce an opinion piece for the school newscast.
Administrators said Hess’ actions put the school out of sync with state law, though lawyers note that there is no criminal or civil penalty for not saying the pledge. State law allows students to remain silent during the pledge.
School officials said they’ve punished Hess for misusing school equipment to deliver a personal message.
“He made a poor choice,” said Mark Wenzel, Bethel School District spokesman.
So all of you folks who keep sending me email telling me about how no one has to say ‘under God’ when they recite the Pledge, or even say the Pledge at all, and no one will care if they don’t, well, you can stop sending me those emails now.
Oh, and this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.