It is a well-established fact that any American, for any reason, can refuse to say the Pledge Of Allegiance, as an exercise of their First Amendment rights. Perhaps they find it creepy, or aren't too keen on the religious part of it (which, contrary to popular conservative myth, was only added in 1954, and not by Jesus himself). Perhaps they HATE AMERICA, but probably not. This was established by the Supreme Court in 1943, in a case called West Virginia Board Of Education v. Barnette, so it's not exactly breaking news. But some people seem to have been playing hooky from reading their 1943 SCOTUS decisions, because a school nurse at Wilson Middle School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, decided to unleash on, and then refuse to treat, an eighth grade student who chose to exercise right to remain seated when the daily Pledge Time happened.


According to a letter sent by the American Humanist Association to the Carlisle Area School District, a young student happened to be in the school nurse's office when it was time to say the Pledge, and she just stayed seated, like she always does. Well, this chapped that nurse's anus RIGHT UP, so she made it personal:

She reports that subsequently, when it was her turn to be seen by the nurse, the nurse asked loudly, “Why didn't you stand for the Pledge?” The student replied that the Pledge exercise is voluntary and that no explanation for opting out is needed. Shockingly, the nurse responded by ordering her out of the room, yelling, “Fine! Then leave! I have the right to not service you!”

Oh, good job at grown-up-ing, Nurse Friendly! Did she then add "I know you are but what am I?" for good measure? And what in the hell school did this supposed medical professional go to, where she learned that you don't have to "service" any patient (gross choice of words, jerk-off nurse) who refuses to "service" the American flag?

The child was crying, so she went to the office to call her mom, but apparently the nurse followed, barking orders to the office staff, saying, "She isn't calling a parent until I have a long conversation with her!” Oh really? Sounds like somebody thinks she's the President Of Schools, as opposed to the person who makes sure none of the kids eat too much Ritalin for lunch.

The school counselor tried to make things better, but still fucked it all up by suggesting that maybe, if the student didn't want to Service The Flag, she should excuse herself to stand in the hallway for the literally 15 seconds it takes to burp out those words. The counselor stated that it was "district policy" for kids to politely excuse themselves, presumably not to hurt the feelings of the True America-Lovers. American Humanist Association lawyer Monica Miller is downright snarky about this, pointing out that the counselor is "apparently unaware that 'district policy' does not trump federal law." YA BURNT!

The American Humanist Association is demanding a full written apology from the school district, on their desk by Monday please! They're also demanding that both students and staff in the district be adequately informed that they, too, do not have to say the pledge, and that no, the adults cannot punish, bully, shame or otherwise berate kids for opting out. They also add that the actions of these "educators" and "adults" run directly counter to the spirit of true patriotism, the kind that doesn't require one to constantly prove how much you love your country by saying words at the flag:

To say that the actions of school district staff in this situation have inflicted trauma upon this child would be an understatement. She was bullied and subjected to public embarrassment for doing nothing more than harmlessly exercising her constitutional rights. The actions of the nurse are indefensible, as she provides an example of the kind of overzealous, dangerous patriotism that any true patriot would loathe.

That's right, Nurse Flag-Humper, TRUE patriots are appalled at your childish behavior! Good job, school workers of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. We bet your track record of educating the next generation of productive Americans is just great.

[American Humanist Association letter via Raw Story]

Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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