WSHS Student Defends the Right to Kneel


Mikasia Linwood, Student Contributor

One of the most controversial questions among schools in the United States: Should students stand for the pledge of allegiance? It has been an ongoing argument whether students should or should not stand for the pledge.  In 1943 there was a court case in West Virginia called The West Virginia State Board of Education V. Barnette. The case was to decide if students should be forced to stand for the pledge of allegiance. The court case protects students from being forced to say the pledge of allegiance. The free speech clause written in the United States constitution prohibits students from being forced to say for the pledge by public schools. The argument of students standing/saying the pledge of allegiance has been going on for nearly a century.

All of our lives we have been taught to sand for the pledge of allegiance. We were taught the pledge before we were taught to read and write! That thought is utterly perturbing and quite statist. Students should not be forced to stand for the pledge. Every student is an individual with their own set of beliefs and opinions. The students should have the option to sit for the pledge.

A lot of Americans believe that not standing or saying the pledge is a disrespect or disgrace to the country. They also believe that it is a diss to U.S soldiers who died for our freedom. Contrary to that, the United States was built by our protesting forefathers. Freedom of choice should remain. Not standing for the pledge does not disrespect the soldiers, because it does not even mention soldiers in the pledge of allegiance. Refusing to stand for the pledge is not dishonoring the constitution. The constitution ensures free will. Forcing students to stand for the pledge contradicts that.

Why should we respect a country that does not respect us? Gun violence, police brutality, the best interests of citizens being overlooked, deportation, and gender inequality. It is so much harder to respect our country when our country does not respect us.

Students should have the right to decide for themselves if they want to stand for the pledge of allegiance. The pledge states “liberty and justice for all” but do we really have those rights if we’re forced to stand for the pledge?