The Pledge of Allegiance

April 14, 2016

Marcus Patton is an African American student at Lincoln Park Middle School who refuses to stand for the daily classroom recitation of the pledge of allegiance.  After watching seemingly endless media coverage of black victims killed and brutalized by police, Marcus concluded that the promises and ideals recited in the pledge are not true, and he could not in good conscience participate in the ritual.  Teachers admonished him, expressed their disapproval by referencing family members in the armed forces risking their lives for the country, and threatened to write him up for disciplinary action.  In April 2016 the ACLU of Michigan wrote a letter to the principal and the superintendent explaining that Marcus has a constitutional right to remain seated.  The attorney for the school district acknowledged that the ACLU was correct, and Marcus was permitted to exercise his right to remain seated during the pledge. 

(ACLU Attorney Mark Fancher.)

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