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Louisiana Student Confronts School Over Pledge Policy

Our office assisted a Louisiana student in his efforts to sit out the Pledge of Allegiance last week. The student, Raymond Smith, shown here on KATC News, was badly mistreated by his teacher for opting out, and the school’s administration seemed unconcerned about the mistreatment, so Raymond asked the AHA’s legal center to assist him. We sent a letter to the school complaining about the situation, and it looks like the school is now responding. The school says it is reviewing its pledge policy, and in the meantime the student is being allowed to sit out.

Screenshot above from KATC

Pledging Allegiance: Does It Instill Healthy Values or Toxic Nationalism?

My experience in helping students who have been mistreated for exercising their constitutional right to opt out of the Pledge of Allegiance has opened my eyes to what the daily exercise is doing to our national psyche. Far from instilling a healthy and benign patriotism, it instead nurtures a dangerous nationalism and militarism. I write about this phenomenon in my latest Salon piece, which can be found at this link.

National Superiority on the School Curriculum

Reading, writing, arithmetic . . . and American Exceptionalism?

We might expect nationalistic, chauvinistic pandering from politicians, but it’s especially troubling when we hear it from public school administrators who seem to sincerely believe that we need to indoctrinate students with the idea of American national superiority. Read about the Florida school superintendent who “loathes” having to inform children that the Pledge of Allegiance is optional. My latest Psychology Today article, here.

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