Carrie Douglas says that she was paddled for not standing during the pledge of allegiance at her school in Dawson, Texas (video below).
Schools in Texas are required by state law to have the pledge every day, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1943 that students could not be forced to participate.
"I never stand for the pledge," the 16-year-old girl told WFAA.
Douglas also refuses to stand for the National Anthem.
"We are supposed to be a nation under God, and that is not what we are right now, and so I don’t feel like I want to represent that," Douglas said.
Douglas stated that a substitute teacher was recently offended when she did not stand for the pledge.
"She was like, 'Carrie stand up,' and I was like, 'I'm sorry, I can't stand up,'" Douglas recalled. "She was like, 'You're going to stand up or you're going to the office.'"
At the principal’s office, Douglas recalled being told that she had been disrespectful, and the teen girl was given a choice of a paddling or detention.
Douglas said that she chose the paddling, which her mom approved, but her mother didn't know it was for not standing during the pledge.
Douglas' mom told the news station: "Then [the principal] started telling me, 'She was being disrespectful.' He never told me what was being said."
School superintendent Stacy Henderson told WFAA said he couldn't talk about Douglas' case (for reasons unknown), but added: "We have never punished a student for not standing during the pledge. We do punish students who are disruptive in class."
The school's policy regarding the pledge makes no difference because the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution gives federal law, including Supreme Court decisions, power over all the states.
In the 1943 case of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, the high court ruled: "[N]o 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," as noted by FindLaw.