An 8th grade student at Wilson Middle School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania has some serious explaining to do. When a student exercised her constitutional right to not be indoctrinated by the public school system, the school nurse refused to treat her.
The incident began when an unnamed student went to the nurse’s office on April 2. When the pledge of allegiance came over the intercom, she stayed quietly seated, as is her right. The nurse demanded to know why the girl didn’t stand and recite the pledge and was informed that it was her right not to do so.
“Fine. then leave,” the nurse shouted, “I have the right not to service you.”
No, no you don’t. You have a job to do, which is to provide medical attention to all students who seek it.
The student contacted the American Humanist Association, who issued a letter describing the rest of the events. The girl’s day didn’t get any better:
The student reports that she left the nurse’s office in tears and went to the administrative offices to call her mother. A secretary then led the student to an office, but at that time the same nurse appeared again, saying, ‘She isn’t calling a parent until I have a long conversation with her!’ Still sobbing, the student said she only wanted to call her mother.
At this point a school counselor arrived and took the student to his office, where the student remained for the first two class periods. Though he showed some sympathy, he also incorrectly instructed the student that she should stand in the hallway if she does not wish to stand for the Pledge exercise! The student politely tried to explain that she is under no obligation to stand in the hallway as such, to which the counselor replied that it was ‘district policy,’ apparently unaware that ‘district policy’ does not trump federal law.
What this poor girl went through is absolutely inexcusable. People have their reasons for not reciting the pledge of allegiance, and those reasons are none of the school nurse’s business. When a young person is shamed and treated this way over a right guaranteed her by the constitution, a mockery is made of the country those shamers are pledging allegiance to.