A ninth grade student at Oak Park High School in Southern California is making waves for speaking out after his teacher “intimidated” him into standing during the Pledge of Allegiance though he identifies as atheist and did not wish to stand. After the incident, the student contacted a nonprofit organization, the American Humanist Association, and they quickly reacted, penning a letter to the school on the student’s behalf. “Under the guise of patriotism, this school authority figure has demonstrated shocking indifference for the very Constitution he claims to deem so sacred,” reads the Sept. 29 letter. “We demand that this situation be remedied immediately.” Oak Park superintendent Anthony Knight then released a statement to districtwide teachers, reminding them that students have the right to refuse to stand or recite the pledge.
Contributor: Phoebe Roe