A lawsuit settlement is a reminder about students’ rights not to say the Pledge. I’m Amy E. Feldman.
A freshman at a Texas high school sat silently during the Pledge of Allegiance and was sent to the principal’s office by the teacher who said she was being disrespectful. While the principal held a meeting with teachers telling them the student wasn’t required to recite the Pledge, teachers and students continued to clash with her for her refusal. One teacher didn’t make students say the Pledge, but assigned them to write it, and told anyone who wouldn’t they’d get a zero.
The student and her family filed a lawsuit against the school, which the school Board just paid ninety thousand dollars to settle, probably because it knew it couldn’t win. That’s because the Supreme Court decided back in 1943 that people can’t be required to salute or pledge allegiance to the flag because of the First Amendment, which gives all Americans, whether they pledge their allegiance to it or not, the right to free speech, including—in this case—the right not to speak.