According to various reports, a presentation at a Texas high school this month led students to believe that choosing to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance is against the law — a claim that is patently false.
Although news reports on the incident don’t really clarify what the presentation was about, an image shared on Facebook showed a slide from the presentation telling students that it’s “the law” to stand during the Pledge. But anyone who knows anything can tell you that’s an outright lie.
Officials from Midland High School claimed the slide was taken out of context, but the text on the slide is clear and students interpreted it at face value.
“They shouldn’t enforce it like that, because now people think it’s the law,” student Damien Jurado said to a local CBS affiliate.
Seeking to quell the controversy, school district official Woodrow Baily said that if students don’t want to stand for the pledge, they’re free to provide a note from their parents excusing them. But as the Friendly Atheist‘s Hemant Mehta points out, that’s wrong too. Student’s shouldn’t need parental permission to exercise a constitutional right.
In a post to Facebook, a former student at the school posted an image of the slide, saying that there “needs to be public outrage over this blatant lie.”
“If you have a child that goes to a Midland public school & you believe in the freedom of speech, you need to contact the MISD and ask what the hell is going on!” the person wrote.
In 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protects students from being forced to stand during the Pledge.
According to the Friendly Atheist, the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the District saying children don’t need parental permission to remain seated during the Pledge.
Featured image via Facebook