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One of those crazy teen blogger types. Completely bribe-able with coffee. An INTP.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Refusing to Pledge: an Incredibly Brief, Largely Copy-and-Pasted Legal History

In 2006, in the Florida case Frazier v. Alexandre, 434 F.Supp.2d 1350 (S.D. Fla. May 31, 2006), a federal district court in Florida ruled that a 1942 state law requiring students to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. As a result of that decision, a Florida school district was ordered to pay $32,500 to a student who chose not to say the pledge and was ridiculed and called "unpatriotic" by a teacher.

West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943), is a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that held that the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protected students from being forced to salute the American flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance in school.

In West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 1943, 319 U.S. 624, 63 S.Ct. 1178, 87 L.Ed. 1628, the Supreme Court, overruling Minersville School District v. Gobitis, 1940, 310 U.S. 586, 60 S.Ct. 1010, 84 L.Ed. 1375, held that a West Virginia State Board of Education resolution which required children, as a prerequisite to their continued attendance at public school, to salute the flag and recite the pledge, wasunconstitutional as applied to children of Jehovah's Witnesses since it denied them freedom of speech and freedom of worship. In rejecting the resolution the court held that the state could not "prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion," nor can the state "force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein." The majority (it was a 6-3 vote) found that the freedom asserted to refuse to participate in the flag salute did not interfere with or deny the rights of others to participate.

The standards established in Barnette have been expanded and clarified by subsequent lower court rulings. The Maryland Supreme Court invalidated a requirement that students objecting to the flag salute stand while the rest of the class recited the Pledge of Allegiance. See State v. Lundquist, 278 A. 2d 263 (1971). In 1973, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a school to allow a student to remain quietly seated during the flag salute. See Goetz v. Ansell, 477 F.2d 636 (2d. Cir. 1973).

In 2002, Section 171.021, RSMo (Missouri Revised Statutes) was amended to state that "every school in this state which is supported in whole or in part by public moneys shall ensure that the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America is recited in at least one scheduled class of every pupil enrolled in that school no less often than once per week. No student shall be required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance."

I want to print these out on a single sheet of paper and carry them with me so that next time my theater teacher- or anyone else, for that bloody matter- tells me I have to stand during the Pledge I can refuse, then hand her the paper.

None of these cases are in a court in my state, but I think the general message is pretty clear.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I Got a New Phone

Holy poop. I have a Droid now. LG Marquee, to be specific. Only bad part is typing on touch screen, but I'm sure I'll get over it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Grades Have Gone to Hell

I made an 81 (an 80.8, really) on the first part of a test in Chemistry, and a 67 (a 66.666...) on the second part. I'm missing lots of assignments for this quarter in Spanish 3. Edit: "Lots" being relative. The way our grading system works, you average the first and second quarter together to get the semester grade. Both quarters are fifty percent of your semester grade. I'm missing one of very few assignments and made a terrible grade on another this quarter, so it's a very low grade (a D!) being averaged with my B from quarter one to get my shitty-ass semester grade.

Only three people in Chemistry passed the first part of that test. You'd think the teacher would realize that if only three of twenty-something people pass an examination, it may not be us. It may be his sorry ass. And that maybe he should really get his lazy-ass self into fucking gear and do some legitimate motherfucking teaching. Maybe even engage us students. Fuck him. He can suck a dick.

It would seem he has yet to put those grades in. Or maybe he has, and my extra credit from last semester is just really kicking ass. Edit: Logic! He hasn't put them in yet. There's not a terrible grade under Q2.

Here's a snapshot from the online grades system: