Home | About | Donate

Teacher on Leave After Allegedly Assaulting Student Who Refused to Stand for Pledge of Allegiance


Teacher on Leave After Allegedly Assaulting Student Who Refused to Stand for Pledge of Allegiance

Common Dreams staff

A teacher in Colorado this week was suspended after it was alleged that she assaulted a young child who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance—a troubling example of educators who refuse to acknowledge that students have the right to refuse participation in the daily ritual still found in many U.S. schools.

"In a republic, the people should not pledge allegiance to the government; the government should pledge allegiance to the people."


A long time ago, I worked for a brokerage firm, which was making an instructional video. One of the people involved asked us to recite the Pledge to get sound levels. I remarked, " I cannot be compelled to recite the Pledge." I got the part. No one else was asked to do the Pledge, and the “sound check” was dispensed with. The director chuckled out loud.


I’m not sure of the date of the Supreme Court decision. When I attended school starting in 1960, we all had to stand, learn and recite the pledge. By high school we had it read over the intercom while seated. I didn’t know it wasn’t compulsory until quite recently. Which in a country spouting freedom needs to hold. I’m guessing students don’t know they can sit and teachers, most anyway, won’t mention this fact as they all stand to take ‘the pledge’.


Are you sure that you “had to” or nobody dared not to stand and recite the pledge for fear of being, at the least, ostracized.

I graduated from HS in 1975, and I don’t recall the pledge being recited there. But we definitely did it in elementary school.


“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”
–Thomas Jefferson

Does this read like the words of someone who would recite the pledge? I think NOT.


In all fairness, everyone knows that violence is the best way to instill love of country, and an appreciation of liberty is best cultivated by compulsion backed by a show of force.


The article describes the brave kid as a “young child” but then wrote that it happened in a middle school. I would not call a 7th-9th grader a “young child” - they are teenagers. This suspicious error (Common Dreams wanted to make the incident more dramatic?) should be corrected.

But back to the topic… it seems that our schools are no longer filled with pinko-commie-liberal teachers and their socialist labor union indoctrinating the children in communism and homosexuality anymore…


I think this SCOTUS ruling was way back in the 1960s. It involved the county in West Virginia where my own kids went to school in the nineties–Jehova’s Witnesses said the pledge was idolatry so the kids refused to do it and the school system tried to punish them, and it went all the way to the Supreme Court. My own kids did stand but didn’t recite it. As do I in the rare occasions in which it happens around me. I say–there is no place in a free country for loyalty oaths.


A generation of Colin Kaepernicks would be a start to reclaiming our “rights”, even if only a small step.


I pledge allegiance to the ideals that the U.S. says it stands for; but not what it has done and is doing in my name.


The ruling was in 1943:

And there is no other country aside from perhaps harsh dictatorships that have or ever had such a “pledge”. It is pretty much another one of those dysfunctional uniquely USAn things.

There is also interesting stuff on the author and original form of this “pledge” here:


Your wit is as sharp as a razor!


Our daughter was told in third grade to not recite the pledge. She did not have to. We don’t do the pledge since my brother in law died in Vietnam for a lie. We explained this to her teacher and there was no further difficulty.
This PE teacher did not know her school law and placed the school district in violation of the law.


yes! and allegiance to the people includes respect for us. those in government service should act like adults and treat us as adults. that means they do not keep secrets from us. they are not our mommies and daddies who monitor our behavior. we the people decide policy together.

when i was in the fifth grade, i decided to no longer recite the pledge. i did not make an issue of my personal decision. i stood quietly while the others pledged to the symbol of this nation and silently pledged loyalty to the entire universe. probably loyalty to the earth would have sufficed.


As a public school teacher of over 20 years, I can tell you the only kind of teacher who would make a student stand for the Pledge is a right wing bass turd LOSER who thinks their way is the only way. Wish I worked with her so I could TELL HER WHAT A FASCIST PIG she is. Figures it would be some brain dead gym teacher.


Difficult to be different. In the 1950’s, because my mother was looking into being a JW, I was first allowed to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance, then moved to the back of the room, then moved outside the door during the pledge. I was not yet a teenager, but I understood that those who conspired to send me outside the room were not practicing freedom. Sending me outside the room seemed odd.


Religion adopted at the point of a sword, patriotism learned under the threat of the fist. Small wonder hypocrisy abounds.


When I taught in public schools, I stood for the pledge, faced the flag, and put my hand over my heart, but I did not speak the words. I am a historian, and the pledge says, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.” My allegiance is not to the flag. It is to my country, and to the Constitution of the United States. I do not pledge my fealty a symbolic piece of cloth. So I do not say those words. It would be a false oath.


“A long time ago…” for sure. Ever since this country became obsessed with fear, and the never-ending wars came to be “normal”, the stand that you took would get you fired, or at least shunned and reviled in most workplaces.


As I recall, the Physical Education teachers were generally much more Authoritarian than, say, English or History teachers.