Punished for not saying the Pledge?
Student sues school
- Duration 3:47
- Date May 2, 2012
Student sues school
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-- this story middle school student in Pennsylvania stirring up a lot of controversy by refusing to recite the pledge of allegiance in class the girl just thirteen years old.
Says that she is now being punished for remaining silent.
Instead of praising the stars and stripes it looks like she's has the ACLU on her side.
-- driving us to discuss this is he represented -- for the browns Ville area school district that is just south of Pittsburgh.
Lawyer Jim Davis is here mr.
Davis thanks so much for being with us.
Thank you good morning so the story is this this she refused to step -- the pledge and then some administrators at the school gave her detention.
And wrote her up for in school suspension she says that her rights were trampled on did this school make a mistake in how they dealt with her.
You know I don't wanna say that the school made a mistake I I think -- it happen.
Initially the the instructor involved.
Probably saw this as a disciplinary issue.
By the time it got to me as the -- -- the attorney.
And I was able to let the district -- inform -- as to what the applicable law was.
I think we moved quickly to resolve the matter.
To not implement any disciplined.
And to permit the student as is her constitutional right.
To sit during the pledge of allegiance.
Yeah -- and let let me just stop -- there because not everyone is happy.
With your decision not to move forward frankly -- -- discipline.
In this case because some people in your district -- say what message does that send other students about respecting our country.
Well you deep the problem in I don't know there's a problem I think you we have to take constitutional issue very seriously we are a public body.
We don't have to white.
That the supreme court's interpretation.
We don't have to agree with their decisions but as a public -- We are duty bound to implement and -- over the decisions of the Supreme Court and in this case that the Supreme Court of the United States -- As -- decisions and and found that a student has the right to sit and not stand for the pledge of allegiance.
And that Supreme Court decision you're referring to we have a little excerpt of -- this is from 1943.
In which the justices decided if there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation.
It is that no official high or petty.
Can describe what shall be orthodox in politics nationalism religion or other matters of opinion or force citizens to get -- By their word or act their face there and -- she doesn't have to stick hand.
For the pledge of allegiance so does that mean that now her lawsuit goes away as you understand it.
Well I I don't want to comment specifically our lawsuit I can't say whether it goes away.
That's really question that you would have to ask her counsel.
We -- in that as far as the district is concerned we want to move as expeditiously as possible to resolve the lawsuit.
We want to do that we think it's in the interest of our taxpayers in the interest of our school to do that -- Worked diligently in that in that direction.
As far as the media claims that have been made I can't comment specifically but I can't say that the -- -- will not implement.
It gets back to the point I've made earlier you don't have to like or agree yeah decision of the Supreme Court but you've got to abide by we are school district.
Got -- Jim Davis you are from the Brownsville area school district we thank you for coming in and explaining all this just by the way we also reached out to the ACLU for comment.
They did not respond in time for this segments.