If there are ever problems when a student doesn’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, it’s usually involves a teacher making a snide comment about it or threatening punishment.
But until now, I’ve never heard of a teacher physically lifting a student out of his seat because he wouldn’t stand up. That’s what happened to a first-grader in the New Town Public School District in North Dakota, according to the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center:
When the child has attempted to sit out the Pledge, however, he has been instructed by his teacher to stand — even physically lifted out of his chair – at the risk of disciplinary or retaliatory measures if he refused to stand. When [parents Jesse Moore and Kristina Leiffer] intervened to point out that their child cannot be forced to stand, their concerns were treated dismissively by both the teacher (a Mrs. Miller) and, subsequently, by [Principal Daniel] Anderson. In fact, to make matters worse, the child has now been instructed to stand outside the classroom — a public reprimand and humiliation that is totally unwarranted and unlawful — during the Pledge exercise.
According to the AHA, the parents contacted them because of their “Don’t Say the Pledge” campaign, a sign that the project is at least reinforcing the current law if not yet encouraging more students to remain seated.
I can’t wait to hear the school’s response to this one… in what world is it ever okay to touch a student like that? And for that reason?! It’s completely out of line.
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