Is Refusing to Stand for the Pledge of Allegiance “Disorderly Conduct”?

Friday, May 04, 2012
A Pennsylvania eighth-grade student and her mother won a battle after challenging school officials’ position that students must stand during the Pledge of Allegiance or else be punished for “disorderly conduct.”
Carolyn Raja sued the Brownsville Area School District on behalf of her 13-year-old daughter (known in court documents as “N.B.), who was admonished by her teacher, Jessica VanMeter, after she refused to get out of her classroom seat during the Pledge of Allegiance. The school’s principal, Vincent Nesser, backed the disciplinary actions of the teacher, telling Raja that he expected all students to recite the pledge.
The school does not have a written rule or policy requiring students to participate in the daily pledge.
On the morning of May 1, the ACLU sued the school district on behalf of the Rajas and by the afternoon the district had backed down. District solicitor James Davis acknowledged that N.B. had a “constitutionally protected right” not to stand.
In 1943 the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, affirmed the right First Amendment right of students to refuse to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or to salute the American flag.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
Discipline Dropped for Student who Sits for Pledge (by Rich Lord, New York Daily News)
The Old 'Stand for the Pledge' Routine (by Erin McAuley, Courthouse News Service)
N.B. v. Brownsville Area School District (U.S. District Court, Western Pennsylvania) (pdf)

Federal Court Rules “In God We Trust” and “Under God” are Not Religious Expressions (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


Hifi 11 years ago
no. the child was well within her rights. what vanmeter and nesser did was the crime. violating a little kids rights. at best bullies, at worst treason against the consitution.
Sam Tillman 11 years ago
no one should stand for the pledge of allegiance - it was the origin of the nazi salute and nazi behavior (see the work of the historian dr. rex curry). when stories such as the one above come out, the old news media will never mention the ...pledge's putri...d past, nor print a photo or video of the early american stiff-armed salute. if they did, then no one would stand for the pledge. the pledge continues to be the source of nazi behavior wherein government schools (socialist schools) begin each day by teaching bullying and peer pressure and punish dissenters. the pledge is a daily repetition of the milgram experiment and a demonstration of the banality of evil. it is sad to see that the news today has two stories: an adult selectwoman politician in falmouth, ma who cowardly caved in to bullying regarding the pledge, and a 13-year-old student in a government school in brownsville, pa who is not a coward and who defied the pledge despite ongoing persecution from cowardly adults. francis bellamy is sometimes referred to as america's leni riefenstahl because of his earlier influence on spreading socialism (and the stiff-armed gesture) through government schools et cetera. of course, bellamy was very religious, a "christian socialist" and his original pledge was a small part of a his much larger pledge program replete with hymns, prayers, references to the bible and god, including the phrase "under god." that is why the original pledge program cannot be performed in government schools, only the pledge's tiny part (to which the deifiication was also added in 1954).

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