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flora 
Posted: 15-Mar-2010, 09:39 PM
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Where do we draw the line? If we are citizens of the U.S. and live here with all her freedoms why can we not pledge allegiance with respect? And if I read the wording of Dr. Frances Haithcock - Chancellor Of Public Schools, written permission might not be required. Do you think this is the first step of taking the Pledge of Allegiance out of the public schools? Will it then not be required when becomimg a legal citizen?

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Court OKs student's decision to sit during pledge
By bmeyer
July 25, 2008, 3:03PM
MIAMI -- A former Palm Beach County high school student's desire not to stand during the pledge of allegiance was supported by a federal appeals court this week -- though the court wouldn't go as far as to say that means every student in Florida is exempt from standing during the school-day ritual.

But the ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta could trigger more lawsuits if other students are forced to stand for the pledge or punished if they do not, said Randall Marshall, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney who represented Cameron Frazier.

"What's different about Cameron Frazier than any other student in the state of Florida?" Marshall said.

Frazier was a junior at Boynton Beach High in 2005 when he refused to stand during the pledge and spent the rest of the day in the office after his teacher berated him for his disrespect, according to the original lawsuit.

Frazier did not have his parents' permission to abstain, but the teenager said he had not stood for the pledge since the sixth grade.

The appeals court upheld another Florida law that requires kids to get permission from their parents before abstaining from the pledge, reversing a lower court's ruling on that matter.

In a prepared statement, Florida Education Commissioner Eric Smith said the state Department of Education was "pleased" that the court "recognized the balance between the exercise of free speech and parents' right to direct and oversee their child's education and civic values."

The department and the state Board of Education, along with Frazier's teacher, other school employees and the Palm Beach County school district, were the defendants in the original case. Frazier settled with the district in 2006 but pursued his case against the state.

In 2006, a federal judge ruled that the state law requiring civilians to stand during the pledge, and another requiring students to get written parental permission to avoid participating, were unconstitutional. The state appealed.

In his statement, Smith wrote that the state Board of Education and Department of Education were seeking to defend "the constitutionality of the statute."

South Florida teachers who learned of the ruling Thursday had mixed reactions.

Ron Beasley, a teacher at W.R. Thomas Middle School near Tamiami and a retired Army Airborne Ranger, said he had no problems with his students sitting during the pledge, as long as they discussed it with him first.

"If a kid has told me that he or she doesn't believe in acknowledging the flag or it's a religious issue, I don't push it," he said. "But for the other kids who have not expressed some specific objection, it is a matter of respect and patriotism. They should be there for the pledge."

The pledge of allegiance must be recited once a day at public schools, according to a 1942 state law.

When the school district settled with Frazier, it also chose to follow federal law, which does not require standing during the pledge or written parental permission to avoid it.

Broward school district spokesman Keith Bromery said students do need to bring in a note from their parents to be exempt from participating in the pledge.

"If somebody does not want to do it, it's their right to opt out," Bromery said. "They cannot disrupt the procedure."

The Miami-Dade district does not require a note from parents, said Martha Montaner, administrative director for school operations.

"The students who choose not to participate, either because of a deep personal conviction or religious reasons, can stay silent or sit down until the activity is over," Montaner said. "We give the students the liberty to choose."

Students are not required to stand, she said.

Montaner could not say whether the district's policy would change in light of the ruling.

Frazier, who has not commented publicly about his suit, said he did not want to stand for the pledge "because of his personal political beliefs and convictions," the original lawsuit states.

MEMORANDUM
TO: District Superintendents
FROM: Dr. Frances Haithcock
DATE: March 12, 2010
SUBJECT: Guidance on Pledge of Allegiance, Florida Statute 1003.44(1) related to Frazier v Winn, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion, 535 F.3d 1279 (11th Cir. 2008)
Background
This memorandum concerns the legal challenge by an 11th grade high school student related to Florida’s pledge of allegiance requirements. The opinion issued by the 11th circuit court is attached.
Currently, Florida law requires that the pledge be recited each school day. With a written request by a student’s parent or guardian, a student may be excused from reciting the pledge. The litigation focused on how students may be excused from reciting the pledge and, when excused, whether a student must remain standing, and whether the parental consent component of the statute is constitutional. The specific Florida Statute reference is detailed below.
1003.44 Patriotic programs; rules.—
(1) 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, subject always to other existing pertinent laws of the United States or of the state. 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. The pledge of allegiance to the flag, "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one
nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all," shall be rendered by students standing with the right hand over the heart. The pledge of allegiance to the flag shall be recited at the beginning of the day in each public elementary, middle, and high school in the state. Each student shall be informed by posting a notice in a conspicuous place that the student has the right not to participate in reciting the pledge. Upon written request by his or her parent, the student must be excused from reciting the pledge. When the pledge is given, civilians must show full respect to the flag by standing at attention, men
removing the headdress, except when such headdress is worn for religious purposes, as provided by Pub. L. ch. 77-435, s. 7, approved June 22, 1942, 56 Stat. 377, as amended by Pub. L. ch. 77-806, 56 Stat. 1074, approved December 22, 1942.
Court Findings
First, the court reaffirmed the longstanding United States constitutional rule that if a student is excused from reciting the pledge, the student has a right to remain quietly seated during the pledge.
Therefore, the last sentence of the Florida Statute may not be applied to students who are excused from the pledge recitation (When the pledge is given, civilians must show full respect to the flag by standing at attention…).
Second, the court rejected the plaintiff’s across-the-board challenge to the statute’s requirement for parental consent before a student may be excused from reciting the pledge. Nonetheless, the opinion leaves open the possibility that the parental consent requirement can differ, or may not apply at all, depending upon the maturity of the student or if it is for a specific group of students (such as high school students). In a specific instance, a mature student may not be required to have a parental consent in order to opt out of pledge recitation. The opinion does not state how that determination is to be made or offer any guidance in making that determination.Furthermore, Frazier’s counsel, the ACLU of Florida, has indicated the possibility exists to challenge future controversies that may arise if students refuse to stand and recite the pledge without advance parental consent.
Guidance to Districts
Students who have been granted written permission not to recite the pledge are not required to stand and may remain seated during the recitation period. District counsel should also review the written opinion to determine how the consent provision should be applied to students in different grade levels and to students with different maturity levels.
FH/jb

Flora



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Camac
Posted: 16-Mar-2010, 10:00 AM
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flora;
I was unaware that the Pledge of Alliegance was recited in schools each morning. We stopped doing that here about 40 years ago. Ours was somewhat different what with the Queen and all.


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Patch 
Posted: 16-Mar-2010, 06:19 PM
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To us the pledge is a form of patriotism and a means of teaching same to our children. Various minorities and radical left groups have tried to have it struck down to no avail. With what has happened over the last year or so in this country I do not expect that to happen any time soon either!

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Robert Phoenix 
Posted: 17-Mar-2010, 03:59 PM
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I remember having to recite it in kindergarden but I don't remember it past that. When we were in high school we got stuck listening to a bad recording of the Star Spangled banner every morning. We always plotted to switch it witht he Jimi Hendrix version but that never did come about.


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Jillian 
Posted: 17-Mar-2010, 09:09 PM
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I remember saying it even through high school...always felt proud reciting it.

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Camac
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 08:19 AM
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jillian;

No disrespect intended but I do not see the sense or need to repeat an oath of allegiance every day. Is somebody afraid they will forget it over night.



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Patch 
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 09:43 AM
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We did/do it to show respect for our flag and our country. In Catholic schools it is also recited by adults and children alike at sports events and other after school activities.

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Camac
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 09:50 AM
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Patch;

I guess that's a big difference between our peoples. Canadians don't wear their patriotism on their sleeve. It's a quiet personal thing. Of course there are exceptions to the rules like at the Olympics. Boy were we out of character. Maybe we should do that more often, but then on second though, NO, it's just not us.



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Antwn 
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 03:06 PM
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QUOTE (flora @ 15-Mar-2010, 09:39 PM)
Where do we draw the line? If we are citizens of the U.S. and live here with all her freedoms why can we not pledge allegiance with respect? And if I read the wording of Dr. Frances Haithcock - Chancellor Of Public Schools, written permission might not be required. Do you think this is the first step of taking the Pledge of Allegiance out of the public schools? Will it then not be required when becomimg a legal citizen?


Hi flora -

Well, if the citizens of the US live "with all her freedoms" the freedom of dissent is one of them, as is speech, which the court found. I support the pledge but also support voluntary non-participation. I don't think this single ruling will mean the dissappearance of the pledge in schools, it just gives students the right not to participate (with parental permission) for reasons their conscience dictates. I think the numbers who a)don't want to participate and cool.gif successfully get parental permission will be small, though I could be wrong.

Everyone: How does one coerce appreciation? Will rote repetition made mandatory inculcate patriotism? Is the love for one's country acquired so superficially? The pledge is an expression of appreciation and loyalty, it doesn't instill it, and mandatory participation without opportunity to dissent negates the ideals of freedom of conscience that are being appreciated. How about teaching what is worth appreciating about America instead of relying on forced compliance with 10 second rituals in the belief that patriotism is acquired through recitation. That way students will be impelled rather than compelled to participate.



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Camac
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 03:18 PM
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Antwn;

There is an old saying which is Turkish and had to do with the Janissaries. "Give me a child at the age of seven and I will make it mine for life". As you know the Janissaries were Christian warriors employed by the Ottoman Turks in their conquests especially in Christian Europe.


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Jillian 
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 04:07 PM
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QUOTE
jillian;

No disrespect intended but I do not see the sense or need to repeat an oath of allegiance every day. Is somebody afraid they will forget it over night.

Camac.


No disrespect taken Cam....to answer your question, I always felt it was a way to honor our veterans. Our teachers always reminded us that every generation has sacrificed to build this wonderful country...some sacrifice more than others.

But as for forced participation...I wouldn't force anyone to say the pledge of allegiance. They have the right to stay seated. I would guess it would either be one of two things...either they don't like the part that says "One nation under God", or they don't care enough to stand and salute those who have sacrificed for that flag.

Jillian
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Jillian 
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 04:12 PM
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I just thought of something else Cam.

This is kind of where my head's at...if I were with you at a sports game in Canada and before the game they asked everyone to stand for the Canadian national anthem...I would. I guess because I just feel it's respectful.

Jillian
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Camac
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 04:25 PM
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Jillian;

Anyone who would not stand for any countries National Anthem is contemptable and grossly disrespectful. I think it just goes back to we up here are not as demonstrable about or Patriotism.
I received an e-mail the other day about the US Marines in Afghanistan and Starbucks what I read disgusted me. It seems that a Marine wrote to Starbucks to inform them how much he and his buddies liked their coffeee and asked if Starbuckd would send some. The answer they received sickened me. Starbucks wrote that they do not support the war in Afghanistan and they would not be sending their product there for that reason. This isn't about whether you support a war or not it is about the Troops. Our major coffe chain Tim Hortons has a coffee shop at the main Canadian base in Kandahar where they pay the same for coffee and donuts as we at home do. The difference is that the profits from the outlet are put into the troop morale fund. I realize I went abit off topice but I think also that this has to do with Patriotism. Just different ways we show it.


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TheCarolinaScotsman 
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 05:10 PM
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In the first thru third grade, we started every morning by reciting the pledge, singing God Bless America and The Old North State (North Carolina's state song). After third grade, my family moved and no school I attended after that did anything to start the day other than roll call.


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Patch 
Posted: 18-Mar-2010, 07:07 PM
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I believe 1956 or a bit later was the last of reciting it each morning but through HS it was recited periodically at special events by adults and students alike.

Personally I feel that if someone finds it so offensive as to complain, they should leave. Otherwise keep quiet and ignore it.

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