Friday, September 28, 2018

Texas AG uses idiotic argument against teen expelled for sitting during Pledge

If football players want to kneel during the national anthem to protest racism and police killings, let them kneel. If you think it's so bad to kneel during the anthem, then you should stand when you're watching it on TV. And if students want to sit instead of stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, let them sit. That's what freedom means.

Freedom isn't supposed to be about corporations' so-called "right" to pollute our rivers or overcharge patients for preexisting conditions. Sitting for the Pledge is a matter of personal choice.

Last year, a student at Windfern High School in Houston was expelled because she refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. She had sat for the Pledge about 200 times before under 6 different teachers - but the principal expelled her.

After being expelled, she sued the principal, school staffers, and the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. But now, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has intervened on behalf of the school system - and Paxton's argument is jaw-droppingly dumb.

"The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly held that parents have a fundamental interest in guiding the education and upbringing of their children, which is a critical aspect of liberty guaranteed by the Constitution," a statement by Paxton reads. "The Texas Legislature protected that interest by giving the choice of whether an individual student will recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the student's parent or guardian. School children cannot unilaterally refuse to participate in the pledge."

Ah yes, it's the tired old dominionist argument that parents own their kids. Paxton's statement says in effect that students may not exercise their constitutional rights unless they get parental permission. Is that a stupid argument or what?

In this case, however, it's a moot point, because the student already had her mother's permission. So bust goes that bubble.

While Paxton's argument is laughable, it's really no laughing matter, as bizarre legal theories like this have taken hold all over this once-great land.


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