We have yet another instance of a student exercising their right not to recite the pledge of allegiance and then being humiliated by a small-minded teacher in front of the class. This time it’s in New Hampshire and the student is demanding an apology. She ought to be demanding more than that.
Fatima Smart, 14, said a Monadnock Regional Middle School teacher didn’t approve of her actions, and after the pledge was over, told her that if she wasn’t going to stand, she could leave.
Not standing for the pledge is a sensitive issue, but New Hampshire law states that student participation is voluntary, and Smart said she was just exercising her rights.
“I don’t like our government at all,” she said. “I think they are making bad decisions, and I didn’t stand.”Smart said that after she didn’t stand for the pledge, she was kicked out of class and then lectured in front of the other students.
“She kind of used me as an example in front of the class to say that, ‘You have to stand for the flag salute, or you can be like Fatima and wait outside,'” Smart said.
Two months after the incident, she and her family said they’re still waiting for an apology.
“They intimidated and humiliated our daughter, and it’s become a public spectacle because of their lack of humility to extend an apology,” said her stepfather, Steve Boscarino.
They broke both state and federal law. There needs to be more than an apology, there needs to be punishment for the teacher — there is never an excuse for a teacher humiliating a student for any reason — and training for all the other teachers to make sure this never happens again.