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Argument 1- Is it legal for a school to punish a student because he or she does not stand for the pledge of allegiance?

Explain how the first amendment of our constitution would be relevant to Mason Mihalec’s case. Lastly, did the school make the legal decision by punishing Mihalec? Use evidence from the first amendment to support your conclusions.

Kate Folkenroth- The Constitution states the natural rights of American citizens in the Bill of Rights. This is relevant to Mason Mihalec’s case because it says that he has the right to sit and not recite the Pledge of Allegiance. While this can be classified as either speaking his mind or speaking out against the government, both are covered in the First Amendment that there can not be rules “…abridging the freedom of speech…” or “…to petition the government for a redress of grievances”. Mihalec has not caused public threat nor stepped beyond what this document says so all the rights still apply to him.
Legally, the school did not make the right decision by punishing Mihalec. This is infringing his right to free speech and to his pursuit of happiness by getting an education. Though it does explicitly say that “Congress shall make no law…” against these inalienable rights that every person is born with, that does not mean that this public school can make rules reducing his rights. This would be a different case is Mihalec was just doing this for attention but he is informed and passionate just like the founding fathers who wrote these rights for America.

Zach Ebert- The First part of the Constitution contains many parts. The first part of the Constitution is the first amendment, which Mason Mihalic should be protected by. The Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” (Billofrightsinstitute.org). It tells about free religion, press, free to petition, and most important, freedom of speech.it relates to Mason Mihalec’s disision becuase he did not stand for the pledge, which is freedom of speech. If don’t agree with the condition or the country of America, you have the freedom of speech to say something.Mason Mihalec does not agree with the United states of America and how politicians are running things, so his way to speak out is not standing for the pledge.It’s relevant because he is using the constitution’s freedom of speech to speak out in the country, by not standing for the pledge.

Even though many believe he should be punished and because it’s incredibly disrespectful, the school did an illegal decision my punishing Mihalec. As the Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech (Billofrightsinstitute.org). Many believe he should be punished for disrespecting the country he is living. In most countries they don’t have the freedoms of America. But since the Constitution is protecting him, he can’t not be punished, and the school made a wrong decision. The call for suspending Mason should be reversed, as he has the right to stand up against a country, even if it’s his own.

Taylor Barber- The first amendment states that everyone has the right to freedom of religion, speech, press, and to peacefully petition the government if they feel something is unjust. The part of the first amendment that coincides with Mason Mihalec’s case is the right to speak freely. Mihalec was recently punished by his school due to his choice of not standing for the pledge of allegiance. This occurrence is related to the first amendment because Mihalec chose to not stand and say the pledge, which is his right because the amendment includes freedom of speech, which is also interpreted as freedom of expression. “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech” (Bill of Rights). Even though it states in the Bill of Rights that citizens can speak freely, some believe it is still unforgivable to disrespect the flag, and deserving of punishment.
When this 15-year-old student decided to protest against the flag, his teacher had a strong disagreeance, as did his principle. He was given two-days of in-school suspension, which started a controversial topic of discussion of whether or not it was legal for the school to punish him. As stated in the first amendment, all citizens have the freedom of speech, therefore what the school did is illegal. Mihalec was not hurting anyone in his peaceful attempt to get his opinion across that he doesn’t agree with the politicians running America. Since he was simply sitting during the pledge he should not be punished because it is his right to do what he feels freely, as long as there is no harm to others. In the first amendment it mentions that Congress cannot make laws against the rights of the people, therefore the same should be said for schools. If the Congress is denied the ability to create laws against speech, than the school should also be rejected the right to make rules against such freedoms. Many people see this act as immensely disrespectful to the USA because the flag and the pledge represent the appreciation American’s have for their country. However, if a citizen decides that they feel the country is becoming unjust, then it is their right to protest it peacefully as they please, just like others are allowed to show their patriotism.