It’s never good when a 12-year-old knows more about the law than his principal.
Eros Leon, a seventh-grader at the Cobalt Institute of Math and Science in California, decided to stop saying the Pledge of Allegiance recently because, among other things, “he does not think we are indivisible and fair” as a country.
So he remained seated when his classmates said it. But when one of them tried to force him to stand up, his mother wrote a letter to Principal Melda Gaskins. Her response was absurd. Here’s how the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center explains it in a letter sent to the District:
Dr. Gaskins… insisted that the child could be forced to stand for the Pledge exercise. Dr. Gaskins even told Ms. Leon that the child could stand with his back to the flag if he wanted, but that he had to stand… It is most troubling that at no time has anyone in the school’s chain of command exhibited even the slightest concern for the personal convictions of the student, who has given thoughtful consideration to the issue and acted upon his deeply held principles.
Just to state the obvious, no student has to stand for the Pledge. Ever.
At least the Superintendent seems to get it:
[Victor Valley Union High School District] Superintendent Ron Williams, however, told the Daily Press the school has no issue with the student’s choice.
“I saw (the letter) this morning and I contacted the principal and she said there must be a misunderstanding, because we don’t have a problem with that student not standing for the Pledge,” Williams said.
Well, good. We’re all on the same page then. The question is: Why didn’t the principal or teacher seem to know any of this before the letter was sent? Even if the District is simply in damage-control mode, Williams should remind all faculty members and administrators of what the law says.
Leon gets it. Why don’t the adults?
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)