CALHOUN COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FLAG PLEDGE LED TO US SUPREME COURT CASE - Principal Don McGlothlin Refused To Make Girl Salute, Was Fired

(04/06/2022)
By Bob Weaver

A landmark US Supreme Court civil rights case that originated from Calhoun County High School in 1943 is still surfacing in a number of US cases related to the mandated saying of the Pledge of Allegiance by US school students.

47 states have laws requiring students recite Pledge of Allegiance, but most of them have exception clauses.

The 1943 U.S. Supreme Court ruling from Calhoun County, West Virginia V. Barnette, determined that no school or government can compel someone to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or salute the flag.

Calhoun County High School principal refused to expel a student for not saluting the flag or saying the pledge the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that led to a the landmark Supreme Court decision.

He was immediately fired and left the county.

The ruling said public schools violated some students' religious freedom by forcing them to join in the Pledge of Allegiance each morning.

Before the ruling, West Virginia schoolchildren were subject to expulsion and delinquency proceedings for being "unlawfully absent" if they refused to participate in the flag salute.

At a patriotic assembly on Dec. 8, 1941, a student, Lavaughn Kelley, a Jehovah's Witness, refused to salute the flag on the basis of her religious beliefs.

"He believed that everybody should salute the flag, but not because they're forced to. He felt that would undermine democracy," said his son Paul McGlothlin.

In 2022, A Texas teacher agreed to pay a $90,000 settlement after he was sued by a student on First Amendment grounds for requiring a class to write out the Pledge of Allegiance.

The incident occurred in 2017 when teacher Benjie Arnold asked his class to write out the Pledge of Allegiance or receive a failing grade.

The student, Mari Oliver, wrote a squiggly line on the paper, and failed the assignment as a result.

The West Virginia V. Barnette decision determined that no school or government can compel someone to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or salute the flag.

There is no statute in the state of Nebraska, but the state’s school board required the Pledge of Allegiance be recited at public schools.

Several other states in 2022, appear to be violating the Supreme Court decision.

See   CALHOUN EDUCATOR DON MCGLOTHLIN CHALLENGED IN SUPREME COURT GRAVEN IMAGE CASE - Declined Forcing Student To Say Pledge