9th Grader in South Carolina Punished for Sitting During the Pledge of Allegiance September 26, 2014

9th Grader in South Carolina Punished for Sitting During the Pledge of Allegiance

Another day, another student wrongly punished for not saying the Pledge of Allegiance. In this case, it’s a 9th grader at Right Choices Alternative School in Beaufort, South Carolina.

The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to district officials yesterday explaining the problem:

The student in question, currently in ninth grade in the Right Choices Alternative School, is an atheist and does not wish to participate in the Pledge exercise in any manner because he objects to the “under God” language and feels that any level of participation in the exercise validates that theistic affirmation. As such, he has attempted to simply sit at his desk during the exercise in an undisruptive manner. When he has done this, however, he has been instructed by his teacher to stand and has been disciplined when he has refused to do so. In particular, the student has been told that the school policy requires all students to stand during the pledge and that if they refuse to stand, they get “1:00 lunch,” which is a form of punishment at the school. Moreover, the teacher in question quarreled about the student’s atheism and lectured the student that failure to participate in the exercise was unpatriotic, somehow an offense to men and women in uniform.

How despicable of that teacher… not to mention just plain untrue. There’s nothing unpatriotic about not standing for the Pledge. If anything, it’s an exercise of your rights to peacefully dissent — what’s more patriotic than that?

The AHA, if you weren’t aware, recently launched a campaign encouraging students to stay seated during the Pledge because they have the right to do that. Based on the complaints we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks, the campaign is working.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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