Students have a constitutional right not to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. Nor can students be required to stand or otherwise be penalized for exercising this right.
Even before “under God” was belatedly added to the previously secular pledge in 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court had eloquently affirmed this right: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” Barnette.
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