Reading the news today, I came across a lawsuit settlement that sent me rocketing back a couple years. Though it’s just reporting on a decision recently come to by a judge on an old case from 2017, the case almost serves as a preserved snapshot of the sort of stuff people were mad about before, well, our whole country kind of broke. The lawsuit in question was brought by a student in a Houston-area school, who alleged that they were bullied and threatened for refusing to stand for the pledge of allegiance.

To be honest, I’m more surprised than anything that standing for the pledge of allegiance is still something schools do. It seems like such a useless flashpoint for students and parents alike to complain about, for something that has absolutely zero bearing on day-to-day learning among children. The entire practice of having every student stand up every day and recite the pledge of allegiance, as if they cannot start memorizing their multiplication tables until doing so, reeks of creepy nationalism. It feels like something North Korea would do, not the USA. It’s hard to give any possible reasoning for its necessity outside of just generalized jingoism.

Marine Saluting

Pixabay

Ready to play Hot Cross Buns on the recorder, sir.

With that in mind, it’s even more surprising that when a child might decide to opt out of the daily performance of this weird military poem, that anybody really cares. Being a teacher is hard enough already. I couldn’t imagine, after a night of grading plagiarized book reports and waking up early to spend part of my own paycheck on colored pencils, that I could bring myself to give a flying #*$% about whether someone was standing at attention for the pledge.

Apparently, in this case, however, the teacher had plenty of energy to throw a weird patriotic little fit. According to records, the teacher reacted by saying that anyone who did not complete the Pledge assignment would receive a zero and compared people who refuse to say the Pledge to Soviet communists, members of the Islamic faith seeking to impose Sharia law, and those who condone pedophilia. Oh, cool, so they’re insane.

They also said they had "no option but to give you a zero, and you can have all the beliefs and resentment and animosity that you want." They completed this with the classic Merica weirdo move of offering to pay to move students to Europe if they didn’t like it here. As you might expect, once all this was entered into court record, and they failed to have the case thrown out, the school board decided it was in their best interests to settle for $90,000.

To be honest, it makes me more uncomfortable than anything that the school board would decide to throw in their chips with a teacher that used a protected exemption from the Pledge of Allegiance to start spouting off about Sharia Law and pedophilia in a school classroom. For most people of sound mind observing that situation, there would only be one child here, and they’d be the one in front of the chalkboard.

Top Image: Pixabay/Pixabay

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