Teacher Suspended for Forcing 4th-Grader to Participate in Pledge of Allegiance
It’s silly season in government schools.
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A Florida teacher was suspended last month for forcing a fourth grader to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Anne Daigle-McDonald, a teacher at Explorer K-8 School in Spring Hill, Fla., made the student, a Jehovah’s Witness, place his hand over his heart during the Sept. 11 pledge, according to a report by the Tampa Bay Times. (Jehovah’s Witnesses are forbidden from worshiping objects — including the American flag.) When he resisted, she said, “You are an American, and you are supposed to salute the flag,” the boy told a school administrator.
According to several students, Daigle-McDonald admonished the class the following day. “In my classroom, everyone will do the pledge; no religion says that you can’t do the pledge,” she said. “If you can’t put your hand on your heart, then you need to move out of the country.”
Hernando County School District officials investigated the incident, concluding that the teacher “violated a number of state education rules, professional conduct principles and the student’s right to free speech and freedom of religion.”