District officials said that they were following state law regarding the pledge of allegiance, a strict and controversial statute that requires unadulterated participation in patriotic gestures.
The statute reads, in part:
Each district school board may adopt rules to require, in all of the schools of the district, programs of a patriotic nature to encourage greater respect for the government of the United States and its national anthem and flag … When the national anthem is played, students and all civilians shall stand at attention, men removing the headdress, except when such headdress is worn for religious purposes … Upon written request by his or her parent, the student must be excused from reciting the [pledge of allegiance], including standing and placing the right hand over his or her heart. When the pledge is given, unexcused students must show full respect to the flag by standing at attention
Other school districts are punishing students who don’t follow state law. In Collier County, one principal is telling students that they’ll be sent home if they don’t stand during the anthem during sporting events, WFLA reports.
“You will stand and you will stay quiet,” Lely High School Principal Ryan Nemeth announced. “If you don’t, you are going to be sent home and you’re not going to have a refund of your ticket price.”
In Washington state, for example, students have the right to choose if they want to take part in the pledge:
Schools shall cause appropriate flag exercises to be held in each classroom at the beginning of the school day, and in every school at the opening of all school assemblies, at which exercises those pupils so desiring shall recite the following salute to the flag.
The debate over how much freedom students have rages on in Florida. State lawmakers introducing a bill in February argued that too many disclaimers were being posted notifying students of their right to opt out of the pledge via parental permission. The bill would have put that disclaimer into student handbooks rather than conspicuous places on campus, though it would later die.
We don’t get what is the problem when schools are teaching the kids to love their country. But that with all other of Obama’s legacy will remain mystery. Thank god that now Trump took over so thing like this won’t happen.