The U.S. Supreme Court ruled more than 70 years ago that students cannot be forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in school, but the superintendent of schools in Santa Rosa, California, is upset he has to post a sign that informs students of their rights (video below).
"I loathe having to tell a student that they don't have to stand for the pledge," Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick told WEAR. "It goes against what we teach in the classroom, that America is the greatest country in the world."
The sign states: "Students are invited to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance to the flag of our country, but they are not required to do so."
Despite Wyrosdick's objections, the sign appears to be in line with U.S. law.
In 1943, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette that students cannot be forced to say the pledge and have the right to remain silent, CNN notes. Additionally, students cannot be forced to salute the flag.
Wyrosdick said that earlier this year a student and parent complained about having to stand for the pledge.
"Our attorneys certainly shared with us that putting those signs in the classroom is definitely complying with the law, any other deviation from that may or not be," Wyrosdick told the news station.
Wyrsodick claims that he has gotten negative feedback from parents who oppose informing students of their legal rights under U.S. law.
Kelly Williams, a mom in Santa Rosa County, said: "I did it my whole life, I don't see anything wrong with it at all."
"I think that they should be doing it just like I did in school," Williams added. "I think it's important for them to know about. It is part of what our schools and our country are built on. It kind of makes me sad that things are coming to this."
In reality, the pledge was not recognized by the U.S. government until 1942, and in 1943 the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling making the pledge voluntary.