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Our flag and nation deserve our allegiancePosted Wednesday, February 27, 2008, at 7:29 PM
"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."
With a group of more than 130 brave members of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry of Indiana National Guard -- based in Linton -- ready to head into harm's way in an Iraqi combat zone in the next few days defending our nation's freedom and upholding our liberty and justice, the patriotic senses in me are more than appalled at the latest Indiana Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) case to hit the federal courts.
A Franklin Central High School student filed a federal lawsuit against his Indiana school district claiming he was "wrongly" given one-hour of school detention because he refused to stand up during the reciting the 31 words that make up the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag.
The suit was settled quickly when the school realized the kid is right.
He can't be compelled to stand up and recite the Pledge. At least that is what the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1943.
The High Court says that school children can not be forced to recite the 'Pledge' as part of their daily classroom routine.
Under state law, schools cannot compel a student to participate in the pledge if the student or the student's parent chooses not to have the student participate. Teachers are responsible for making sure students remain seated or standing during the moment of silence, and that they maintain silence and do not distract other students.
The lawsuit by the 17-year-old boy -- identified only as J.L. -- was filed last Friday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis by an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.
That's no big surprise.
This is just another example of the twisted, misdirected legal judgments made by the ACLU.
They love to clog up the judicial system challenging things like the public display of the Ten Commandments, the public display of Nativity scenes, prayer in our schools and the like.
According to the Indianapolis Star, the Franklin Central student remained silent and continued to sit during the school's daily conducting of the pledge, followed by a moment of silence, on two different days earlier this month.
The lawsuit says the student's teacher reprimanded him during each of the incidents and sent him to the school office after his second offense.
The school superintendent -- knowing the school probably doesn't have a legal leg to stand on defending this case -- said that the students would not be punished for refusing to stand for the pledge. The superintendent contends the school district had not planned to take any action in the case, but the lawsuit was filed before the two students were notified of that decision.
Also, the school has agreed to pay $1,000 for attorney and filing fees.
Again, it's a real shame that the courts have stripped away some of our patriotic rights.
But what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong.
In my humble opinion, the teen boy was wrong and disrespectful to his nation and fellow classmates for deciding on those two days that he was going to make a public statement and refuse to afford the homage to our flag that it deserves.
How difficult is it to just stand up for less than a minute?
Talking real straight and 'old school' in my mind this kind of a case begs for some attention.
I'm not suggesting that the Franklin Central student ought to be subjected to what I will call some good old "spiritually-inspired redneck justice" by his classmates or his teachers.
But, I can tell you if this particular incident happened at the southern Indiana parochial grade school I attended back in the 1960s, he would have probably been ripped out of his desk seat by his shirt collar and stood up at attention by one of the 'dear sweet nuns' who taught at our school. Before the pledge was concluded, he would have been reciting it along with the rest of us.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at email@example.com
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