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Senseless waste of time
June 17, 2009 - Jim Smith
I guess I just don't get it!
The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on Ohio legislators to remove a provision in the state's budget bill that gives school districts the authority to decide if students should say the Pledge of Allegiance. The ACLU contends the amendment, as inserted by state Sen. Gary Gates, R- West Chester, Ohio, is unconstitutional because it infringes on First Amendment rights of free speech.
The provision gives teachers the right to decide if students in their classroom will recite the pledge. It also permits teachers to allow students not to recite the pledge, if the student so chooses.
But the unconstitutional allegation stems from the provision barring students of altering, adding or deleting words from the pledge.
The ACLU says such alterations, additions and/or deletions are permitted under the right of free speech. The ACLU also supports the right of school boards to determine if students saying the pledge is appropriate in class.
It's the Pledge of Allegiance, for goodness sake! If students want to recite it, so be it. If students don't want to recite it, so be it. If some students moronically seeking attention want to alter it, so be it, but disclipline them for disrupting class, not for mindlessly reciting the pledge. If they repeatedly disrupt the class by altering the pledge, follow normal disclipinary action, thus avoiding the Constitutional free speech issue.
Why is this a legal issue, tying up the state Legislature, the ACLU and courts?
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