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3 suspended for not standing for Pledge of Allegiance

Discussion in 'Other Policies' started by The Scotsman, May 13, 2008.

  1. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    3 suspended for not standing for Pledge of Allegiance

    By PAUL WALSH, Star Tribune

    May 10, 2008

    http://www.startribune.com/nation/18800444.html


    Three small-town eighth-graders in Minnesota were suspended by their principal for not standing Thursday morning for the Pledge of Allegiance, violating a district policy that the principal now says may soon be reworded to protect free speech rights.

    "My son wasn't being defiant against America," said Kim Dahl, mother of one of the students, Brandt, who attends Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Junior High School in northwestern Minnesota.

    Brandt told the Forum newspaper in Fargo that Thursday's one-day in-school suspension, "was kind of dumb because I didn't do anything wrong. It should be the people's choice."

    Kim Dahl said the "punishment didn't fit the crime. If they wanted to know why he didn't stand, they should've made him write a paper." She said her son has been declining to stand all school year, offered no reason for sitting and was not obligated to explain his actions.

    The school's handbook says all students are required to stand but are not required to recite the pledge. The same is true for all four schools in the district, a school official said.

    "These three [students] didn't, and they got caught," said Mel Olson, the district's community education director. He said he backs the punishment, "being a veteran and a United States of America citizen, absolutely." Olson served in the Marines in Japan during the Vietnam War.

    The head of the Minnesota American Civil Liberties Union said that the school's actions against the students are unconstitutional, and his office informed the district of that today in a strongly worded letter.

    "The school can't do that; that's illegal," said Chuck Samuelson, the civil liberties group's executive director. "Wow."

    Samuelson said that numerous U.S. Supreme Court rulings dating to the 1940s say in "well-settled constitutional law" that "students who refuse to participate in the pledge cannot be punished for refusing to participate."


    Samuelson said he's surprised that any public school district would have such a pledge requirement, given that state law allows for students and teachers to decide not to participate. Most states have the same "opt-out" provision.

    In St. Paul, said district spokesman Howie Padilla, "Students can respectfully not participate in the Pledge of Allegiance." Minneapolis schools treat pledge participation the same way.

    Colleen Houglum, the principal who suspended the three, acknowledged in a statement late this morning that the policy requirement that " 'all students will stand' may need to be modified to address the protection of the individual's form of expression."

    Kim Dahl said Houglum called her this morning and informed her of the possible accommodation. "I think they are handling it quite professionally," Kim Dahl said, adding that Houglum told her that school officials "are taking some steps to take the [suspensions] off their records."

    That possible shift was met with disappointment from Olson. While he said he'll fall in line with whatever change may occur, "I still have my beliefs."

    Earlier today, Olson said that a "very nice announcement" was made at the start of the junior high school day reminding the students that they must stand for the pledge.

    Houglum said that all students this morning were "involved in some fashion" during the pledge, adding that no additional suspensions were needed.

    However, the family of 14-year-old Bishop Edens told the Forum that he was suspended from school today (Friday) because he wouldn't stand for the pledge, but he was quickly invited back once Houglum said a policy change might be needed. Edens had said Thursday that he would sit in support of the other three.

    "Our social studies teacher led the pledge, and that was kind of a nice change of pace," Houglum said.
    Kim Dahl asked Brandt why he has been remained seated all school year, but "he didn't have an answer ... he doesn't get in trouble; he's just a normal 13-year-old."

    As for today, she told Brandt to take his cell phone with him to school and text her should he run into trouble again. "I said you should probably just stand if you're not protesting something."

    ........................................................................................................

    "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."

    Seems like a reasonable choice or does it make the ceremony pointless if you just stand and do/say nothing? Is it worthwhile making kids stand there reciting meaningless words written by folk long dead that have no meaning in the modern world?

    Do you think the "pledge" has passed its' "sell by date" and should be quietly consigned to history or that it forms a vital link between the person and country - the spirt of the US is in the hearts of its people?
     
  2. ilikeboobs

    ilikeboobs Member

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    Up your butt, Jobu.
    Ah...my home state does me proud again.
    WTF! Stand up for the F-ing pledge you stupid pieces of garbage.

    My God...the ingratitude towards this country is appalling. THough I hate to use the old standard, "if you don't like it here go live somewhere else" line, it does come in handy here.

    Too many people are failing to realize how good they have it here...A-holes.
     
  3. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    Regardless of your personal opinion on the matter, as a Conservative you must understand the idea of individual liberty and the right to choice. Forcing someone to stand for the pledge is suspectley like the kind of **** like pull in communist dictatorships.
     
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  4. ilikeboobs

    ilikeboobs Member

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    Up your butt, Jobu.

    The country is headed in that direction anyway...might as well start it early and make the kids stand for the pledge. I would consider sitting during the pledge a sign that you don't care about the country and, in my opinion, a sign that you belong somewhere else.

    I rule.
     
  5. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    I don't believe that your real reason for believing standing for the pledge is because your country is 'headed in that direction anyway'. Instead, I think you are wrongly selective about what you believe people should be free to do - but go around promoting ideas of freedom and liberty anyway
     
  6. top gun

    top gun New Member

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    It's the same as in flag burning. Is it stupid... yes. Is it discussting... yes. Is It's absolutely covered by our founding fathers as protected FREE SPEECH & PROTEST... YES!!!
     
  7. Libsmasher

    Libsmasher New Member

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    The eighth graders are ignorant punks, but they DO have the right not to stand.
     
  8. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    I'm glad some of the more conservative posters on here realise that refusing to say the pledge is perfectly within the indivudals rights.
     
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  9. El Veto-Voter

    El Veto-Voter New Member

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    “I pledge no allegiance to any piece of cloth, or to any political organization for which it stands, nor will I accept the claim that any country is indivisible, because I understand that the purpose of government is to infringe on the liberty and justice for all.”

    Is it un-patriotic to refuse to pledge allegiance to the flag? Yes.

    Is it un-American to refuse to pledge allegiance to the flag? No.

    Why do I refuse to pledge?

    It is my assertion that being blindly patriotic is un-American. Taking any “pledge of allegiance” goes against the principles of freedom that the United States of America were founded upon.

    The very first line “I pledge allegiance to the flag...” makes the promise that the pledger agrees to be a “liege”. A liege is a slave. Therefore pledging allegiance to anything or anybody goes against the principles of freedom.

    A flag is an inanimate piece of cloth, a symbol of power and coercion. It cannot make decisions. It cannot give orders. Being a slave to a piece of cloth is such a silly notion that only constant brainwashing repetition can make it seem reasonable.

    The phrase “... the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible...” is abhorrent to the original founding principles of America, because people should be free to separate or secede from any organization that they choose to leave. This phrase was written as an excuse for the northern states to force southern and western states to remain part of the union against their will. Its purpose is to enslave everybody by denying the right to secede.

    The phrase “... under God...” was added during the Cold War as a claim that God is directing American foreign policy. This claim should be as abhorrent to believers in God as it is to non-believers. What sort of God would use military force to prop up some dictators while overthrowing others? What sort of God would bribe foreign leaders to do our bidding? What sort of God would condone the lying, stealing, killing and corruption that US foreign policy is based upon? This view of God makes him seem so weak that he has to rely on a huge military machine, with troops based all over the world, in order to force his will on the people of the earth. That certainly goes against the biblical vision of God controlling the universe.

    The phrase “... with liberty and justice for all” is the final insult to the intelligence of the pledgers. How could one be expected to pledge to be a liege if there were liberty and justice for all? Being a slave to liberty is a ridiculous oxymoron.

    Each person is either a slave or a free person. The “Pledge of Allegiance” was just one step in reducing the free people of America to serfdom.

    As history has shown, and current events continue to prove, there is no "liberty and justice for all" under any form of government. There is liberty (special privilege) for certain lieges, and a perversion of justice that sometimes appears to work. But in reality the purpose of the nation-state is to protect the liege masters (privileged class) while ruling the lieges.

    Does it seem bizarre that we are asked to pledge to be lieges as a way to safeguard our freedom?

    So, I ask you to join with me in reciting the “Pledge of No Allegiance” whenever the myrmidons around you are reciting the un-American, but patriotic, “Pledge of Allegiance”. I also ask that you take those opportunities to educate those who mistakenly believe that reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance” and other patriotic gobbledygook are supporting American liberty and justice.

    This has been an Antidote to Brainwashing.

    Think about it.
     
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