A student at Belfast Area High School in Maine refused to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance last Friday with his classmates, so he was sent to the principal's office.
According to the American Humanist Association, which is representing the student, he refused to say the pledge for personal reasons, which included not believing that the U.S. is "under God," noted the Portland Press Herald.
The "under God" phrase was added to the pledge in 1954.
According to the Bangor Daily News, Monica Miller, an attorney with the American Humanist Association Appignani Humanist Legal Center, said:
The student attempted to explain to school officials that he had the right to not participate in the pledge, but administrators informed him that he was required to stand for the pledge and that failure to do so in the future would be met with serious consequences.
The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled in favor of students choosing not to recite or stand for the pledge, dating back to 1943.
The American Humanist Association emailed educators on Monday to remind them of the 72-year-old law.
"The request was [that he] at least stand and show respect, but he doesn’t have to say the pledge," Brian Carpenter, superintendent of Regional School Unit 20, told the Portland Press Herald.
“It’s such a minuscule point,” Carpenter added. “There are more important issues in the world today. We’ll address this at the school level. I will remind staff that they are to abide by the letter of the law.”
Sources: Portland Press Herald, Bangor Daily News, Wikipedia
Image Credit: Marjory Collins