Oregon School District Reprimands Teachers for Kneeling During Anthem

Photo Credit: Visitor7 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Many issues awaken dormant remnants of Constitutional Law from one’s first year of law school.  In the past two years since Colin Kaepernick’s protest, they have included acts by public school teachers and administrators involving the pledge of allegiance or national anthem which, on their face, appear to violate free speech protections.  From reprimanding students who don’t stand for the pledge of allegiance to threatening to suspend students who kneel during the national anthem, public school legal teams are either woefully underutilized or incompetent.  And while it may be true that there are limits placed on free speech protections in schools given the fact that children are involved, a peaceful decision not to stand during the national anthem should fall within the protections afforded all citizens of this country.  The teachers who decided to stand during the anthem too were making a statement, and their stance should not be afforded any more value than that of the teachers who decided not to stand.  This is one of the very few times that intervention and support of the teacher’s union would be welcome.  These jingoistic efforts within our schools need to be brought to an end, and the filing of lawsuits is one effective way to facilitate this objective. 

Article below by the Associated Press via seatlletimes.com.

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon school district sent a letter to five high school staff members advising them not to engage in political expressions at work after they took a knee during the national anthem at a student assembly.

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