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The Allegiance…and an arrest?

6th grader refuses to say Pledge of Allegiance and his arrest sparks controversy.

But it’s not what it seems.

A closer look at this story, our patriotic vow, and its history.

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What Happened?

  • 11-year-old student wouldn’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • A substitute, unaware students aren’t required to stand, confronted the student about why.
  • The student reportedly said the flag was racist & offensive to black people; the substitute, of Cuban descent, found this offensive and a conflict followed.
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What Happened Next?

  • The 11-year-old student was suspended for 3 days & arrested after making threats, creating disruptions and resisting more than 20 requests by two school officials, including the dean, to leave the classroom.
  • Police say student charged with 2 misdemeanors because of his behavior – NOT for refusing to stand for the Pledge.
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History Of The Pledge

  • 1892: Pledge printed in a kids magazine to celebrate 400 years since discovery of America
  • 1943: U.S. Supreme Court rules requiring a person to say the Pledge is unconstitutional under the Free Speech clause of the First amendment. The case came from a debate over requiring students to stand & say the Pledge in public schools.
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“If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.”

U.S. Supreme Court in 1943
Now You Know

Free speech protects ALL Americans - young & old. Although The Pledge of Allegiance was written originally by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist Minister, in 1892, it wasn't until 1954, that the words "under God" were added to the Pledge by Congress.

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