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Constitutional Rights Brought Into Question As Student Refuses To Recite Pledge Of Allegiance

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A California teacher reportedly confronted a student after she made the legal decision to not recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Lauryn Crawford, 16, spoke to CBS Los Angeles about her decision to note recite the Pledge of Allegiance at Lakewood High School in Lakewood, located in Los Angeles County, California.

"As a Christian, this nation has never been one nation under God," Crawford told CBS. "Seeing all the stuff that's happening on the news and to say there's liberty and justice for all is not right."

Although she made the decision to abstain from reciting the Pledge three years ago, it was not until recently that this decision became an issue. Crawford's pre-calculus teacher reportedly told her that she at least needed to stand while the Pledge was being recited.

She refused the teacher's orders. When this was brought up the following day, the teacher stated that he could not find any policy allowing her to sit and not partake in the Pledge.

There is no policy needed, as the right to refuse to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance is a national law.

West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943) is a decision made by the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court held, in a 6-to-3 decision delivered by Justice Robert H. Jackson, that the First Amendment protected students from being forced to salute the American flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance in school, according to Cornell Law.

Crawford's family contacted a civil liberties group, which sent a letter to the Long Beach Unified School District to remind them of the law. Crawford's father also called her daughter's teacher to explain her constitutional right to abstain.

“If it said we strive to be one nation under God, and we strive to have liberty and justice for all, then I would stand up,” Crawford said.

Sources: CBS LocalCornell Law

Photo credit: WikiCommons


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