A North Dakota Elementary school is catching national attention after parents are claiming their son is being “bullied” for choosing to sit down during the Pledge of Allegiance.
Parents of the first-grader believe their son’s First Amendment rights have been violated because his teacher regularly sends him out of the room for refusing to stand for the pledge, Mint Daily News reported.
The child’s father, Jesse Moore, said he and his wife, Kristina Leiffer, feel like the school is dismissing their concerns. According to Moore, their son was allowed to “exercise his rights” in kindergarten, but his teacher this year is not complying with their son’s request.
“We’re trying to raise free thinkers,” Moore said.
Superintendent of the school district, Marc Bluestone, said the child’s decision to sit down during the pledge is distracting to his classmates, so they send him out of the hallway in order to minimize confusion.
Feeling unheard, Moore and his wife contacted the atheist organization, American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center.
In response, an attorney for the organization Monica Miller sent them a message.
“The child here does not deserve to be ostracized merely because he chooses to exercise his constitutional rights,” Miller wrote. “Pledge participation is not a litmus test for good citizenship, nor should it be a contingency upon which good classroom standing relies. Indeed, there are numerous reasons that even the most enthusiastic patriot might wish to refrain from a daily oath of national loyalty.”
While most Americans stand for First Amendment rights, how likely is it that a 6-year-old has a fundamental moral problem with the Pledge of Allegiance? Chances are, he doesn’t.
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