FFRF ‘stands up’ for Ohio students (April 19, 2012)

Students at Lakeside High School (Ashtabula, Ohio) will no longer be forced to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance, thanks to the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

FFRF Staff Attorney Stephanie Schmitt informed Superintendent Joseph Donatone of this blatant First Amendment violation via an April 13 letter of complaint. She pointed out that some faculty members required that students participate in the pledge against their will. “Students have a constitutional right not to be forced to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance or to be compelled to stand for its recitation,” advised Schmitt.

Schmitt added that students should not be singled out, told they must stand, or otherwise be penalized for following their freedom of conscience.

Donatone promptly replied to Schmitt’s letter on April 19: “We can assure you that we recognize our students’ right not to participate in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and we have directed our staff accordingly.” 

Freedom From Religion Foundation