Patriotic Texas School Suspends 15-Year-Old Subversive For Refusing To Salute Flag
It's nice to know that, even in these litigious times, there are still school districts willing to go that extra mile to make it clear to the world that they know fuck-all about the Constitution and students' rights. Take Needville High School in Needville, Texas (please!), where 15-year-old Mason Michalec was given a two-day suspension last week for refusing to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. And it wasn't even in Arabic, so he didn't have a good excuse.
The young miscreant said that he refused to stand because he's
“really tired of our government taking advantage of us.”
“I basically said it from the time I was in kindergarten to earlier this year and that’s when I finally decided I was done saying it,” the teen told KHOU-TV.
The teacher wrote him up after warning him that the principal wanted all students to stand; the principal later told Mason that his suspension would be extended if he continued to refuse to participate in the ritual display of Americanism.
“I’m angry, frustrated and annoyed that they would try to write me up for something I have the right to do,” Mason explained to KHOU.
In 1943, the U.S. Supreme Court held in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette that schools could not compel students to salute the flag or say the pledge, but what do a bunch of unelected judges (and every court since then) know? This is America. You stand and say the Pledge, by god, because Our Boys are over there dying for your freedom. How dare you go and use it. Some radical hippie in a black robe, Justice Robert H. Jackson, wrote in his Barnette opinion:
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.
We think the action of the local authorities in compelling the flag salute and pledge transcends constitutional limitations on their power and invades the sphere of intellect and spirit which it is the purpose of the First Amendment to our Constitution to reserve from all official control.
Then again, this "Justice Robert H. Jackson" was plainly not from Texas and probably never had to deal with a stubborn little troublemaker who just wanted to show off what a big shot he was, either.
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