A Colorado P.E. teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave for allegedly assaulting a student after the child declined to stand for the Pledge Of Allegiance. Karen Smith is a 20-year veteran teacher at Angevine Middle School in Lafayette.
Twitter users were understandably outraged:
Trump has given these tyrants license to abuse people.— Wealth As A Future (@DeeSeeMe) February 3, 2018
Assault, especially on a child, is never acceptable. But this also may be about free speech. While we think every student should participate in the pledge, each student should have the right to refuse. We as a nation need to teach our children patriotism.— Joe Chenelly (@jchenelly) February 3, 2018
Principal Mike Medina told families the school, “will have a substitute teacher working with some of our PE classes for the time being."
W Va State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943), is a decision by the US Supreme Court holding that the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment protects students from being forced to salute the American flag or say the Pledge of Allegiance in public school.— Carol Sundahl (@carol_sundahl) February 3, 2018
Our kids deserve better teachers than this. School administrations need better screening. Do you know the Constitution and what the 1st Amendment means should be an interview question.— Lori Hanley 📎 (@spismygame) February 3, 2018
Penalties for students refusing to stand for the pledge and/or the national anthem range from failure to expulsion.
While this school is not condoning the assault on its student, it's worth noting that the assault on human rights is nationwide. This incident remains a symptom of a much bigger problem.
H/T: The Root