Florida Teacher Suspended Five Days For Forcing Fourth Grader to Recite Pledge of Allegiance: "If you can't put your hand on your heart, then you need to move out of the country”

"restrictions apply"Anne Daigle-McDonald, a middle
school teacher in Spring Hill, Florida, was suspended for five
days, without pay, for trying to physically force a fourth grade
Jehovah’s Witness to recite the pledge of allegiance on September
11. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe it is against their faith to pledge
allegiance to temporal powers, or the objects that represent them,
and the child had never recited the pledge of allegiance in class
before. Nevertheless, on 9/11 Daigle-McDonald apparently wanted to
teach him what America means. Via
the Tampa Bay Times:

As the students recited, teacher Anne Daigle-McDonald
took the boy’s wrist and placed his hand over his heart. He
protested, pulling his arm down, and reminded her he was a
Jehovah’s Witness.

“You are an American, and you are supposed to salute the flag,”
Daigle-McDonald said, according to a statement the boy gave to a
school administrator.

The next day, Daigle-McDonald again placed the boy’s hand over his

She then addressed the class.

“In my classroom, everyone will do the pledge; no religion says
that you can’t do the pledge,” several students told a school
administrator, according to a report. “If you can’t put your hand
on your heart, then you need to move out of the country.”

The fourth-grader, of course, likely knows a lot more about his own
religion than his teacher does.

A 2005 DOJ
on the constitutionality of the Postal Service’s oath of
office does explain the government’s belief that a requirement to
“affirm” (but not “swear”) an oath to the Constitution does not
violate religious belief, largely because it “requires only that a
person abide by the nation’s constitutional system of government
and its laws.”

Daigle-McDonald, who sounds like an ignoramus, was probably not
referring to this, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, in fact, were among
the first Americans to object to “the contradiction inherent in a
compulsory oath lauding individual liberty,” as Greg Beato
for Reason in 2010. The Jehovah’s Witnesses
efforts against the mandatory pledge culminated in a 1940 Supreme
Court decision, Minersville v. Gobitis, that ruled schools
could force Jehovah’s Witnesses to recite the pledge. The decision,
Beato notes, was followed by tar and featherings, public beatings,
and even the castration of one Jehovah’s Witness in Nebraska. The
plainly wrong decision was overturned by the Supreme Court just
three years later.

Today, young children are largely free to decline to pledge
allegiance to the flag, except when, for example, they’re being
bullied by their teachers. Now, the fight over the pledge of
allegiance is over the inclusion of the phrase “under God,” added
in the 1950s. Ronald Bailey wrote about the recent skirmishes in
that battle, and how it squares with a statute-mandated “voluntary”
pledge in the first place, which you can
read here
, and read Greg Beato’s “Face the Flag” on the history
of the pledge of allegiance, penned by a Christian Socialist who
believed in forcible wealth redistribution, here.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/florida-teacher-suspended-five-days-for

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