A Student’s Freedom of The Allegiance Has Been Jeopardized


Stone Sinnett, writer

Stone Cheney, a sixth grade student at East Middle School in Farmington Hills, Michigan, was reported to be sitting down during the Pledge of Allegiance on Sep. 7th. His teacher grabbed him to force him to stand up without a verbal warning or explanation. The very next day another teacher yelled at him for not standing during the Pledge.  


His teacher believed that this was a sign of disrespect. The staff member allegedly assaulted Cheney by dragging him to his feet and pulling at his arm to force Cheney to stand. Many view sitting during the Pledge of Allegiance as disrespectful. Cheney stated that he was not doing this to be disrespectful, and that he only pledges “to his family and to God”.


Brian Cheney, Stones’ father, said that his son has been sitting for the Pledge of Allegiance since the second grade. Cheney said that he told his son it is okay to sit down because of his given freedoms. He reported that there has never been an actual problem until now. He said that it is a total violation of Stones’ civil rights to be forced to stand, while being assaulted during the Pledge of Allegiance.


Dalton Lithicum, a senior at Oakdale High School, believes that the Pledge of Allegiance stands for “The respect of the American soldiers, and for what they sacrificed we should respect their service. Though, if an individual wants to sit or kneel during the Anthem or Pledge of Allegiance, that is their God given right”.


Simeon Nelson, a junior, has very similar views with Lithicum about the Pledge of Allegiance: “The Pledge of Allegiance stands for absolute freedom of the people, and for respect of our soldiers”, and that “anyone in the United States has the right to stand, sit , or kneel during the Pledge, whether it is seen as a sign of respect or disrespect.”  


According to FCPS regulation, a student has the right to stand or sit during the Pledge of Allegiance. A staff member or individual of authority has no right to force a student to do otherwise at Oakdale.