Saturday, May 10, 2008

Minnesota Students Suspended for Excersising 1st Amendment Rights

Three eighth grade students were suspended from Dilworth-Glyndon- Felton Junior High School for not standing during the pledge of allegiance. WTF? It seems to me that we at least claim to live in a country that stands for freedom. Somehow this translates to, "You are free to mindlessly repeat an oath of loyalty whenever ordered to do so?" The Minnesota ACLU is already looking into the issue. There is a poll asking whether the punishment was appropriate here. PZ has also touched on the issue here.

In my not-so-humble opinion this is complete and utter bullshit. Forcing students to say the pledge does nothing to instill patriotism (which is overrated anyway). Mindless repetition of an oath is just that, mindless. I stand for the pledge but I do it by choice and I think everyone should take part by choice, not through coercion. I also leave out the "under god" portion. I suppose that means I should get the hell out. I'm really disheartened by some of the comments on the Star Tribune site. Such as:

Yes, this is a free country, but that also means that these families are free to leave if they cannot respect our nation.

So basically, your only free if you do things that the commenter agrees with. Also, a rather large percentage of people thought the punishment should have been harsher. A lot of comments point out that it was a school rule so it should be followed. Please remember, segregation used to be a school rule. Some rules need to be broken.

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