You would think public schools would have figured out by now how to handle saying the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s simple, really: Students don’t have to stand for the Pledge. They don’t have to give a reason. And they certainly cannot get punished for sitting it out. That’s true whether we’re talking about atheists who don’t want to pledge that we’re a nation “Under God” or Jehovah’s Witnesses who consider it idolatry.
But officials at Southside High School in the Elmira City School District in New York never got the memo. There, an atheist student has been made to feel like shit by her teacher for not standing up during the daily recitation.
According to a letter to the district’s superintendent and principal from the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center, the problem has been going on for a while: