A Florida teacher has been suspended for five days without pay after forcing her students to say the Pledge of Allegiance. And rightly so.
“You are an American, and you are supposed to salute the flag,” she said. “In my classroom, everyone will do the pledge; no religion says that you can’t do the pledge. If you can’t put your hand on your heart, then you need to move out of the country.”
Such a patriotic attitude! (Insert comic German accent) “You vill obey und salute the government. Ve do not appreciate individual thought here!”
She still doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about, which means maybe this teacher should go back to school and take a remedial social studies class.
This is America — where we don’t force people to love the government. After all, of what use is a forced pledge? If someone forces you to say something against your will, what’s the point? How is it meaningful? Does the irony not hit people? “We are forcing you to pledge against your will — for freedom!!!”
The United States Supreme Court held that no one could be forced to say the pledge over fifty years ago in a case involving the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who persuasively argued that such a pledge violated their religious beliefs concerning worshiping objects or something. The child who this teacher forced to say the pledge was a Jehovah’s Witness, which makes this Florida teacher’s decision even worse.
I am always amused by patriots who want to force Americans to do things like this — which seem to me to be one of the most unAmerican thing you can do. Say the pledge because you mean it, and not because you have to. That’s true patriotism.