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"Overzealous, dangerous patriotism": School nurse refused to treat student who didn't stand for Pledge of Allegiance

The American Humanist Association has called for an apology


Joanna Rothkopf
April 14, 2015 12:50AM (UTC)

The American Humanist Association, an atheist group, has sent a letter of complaint to Pennsylvania's Carlisle Area School District after a school nurse at Wilson Middle School refused to treat a middle school student who didn't stand during the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

According to the letter, when the student was confronted by the nurse, she responded that she had the right not to stand if she wanted. The nurse responded, "Fine, then leave! I have the right not to service you!"

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The AHA's attorney, Monica Miller, wrote:

The student reports that she left the nurse’s office in tears and went to the administrative offices to call her mother. A secretary then led the student to an office, but at that time the same nurse appeared again, saying, “She isn't calling a parent until I have a long conversation with her!” Still sobbing, the student said she only wanted to call her mother. At this point a school counselor arrived and took the student to his office, where the student remained for the first two class periods. Though he showed some sympathy, he also incorrectly instructed the student that she should stand in the hallway if she does not wish to stand for the Pledge exercise!

"The actions of the nurse are indefensible, as she provides an example of the kind of overzealous, dangerous patriotism that any true patriot would loathe," the letter continued.

In a statement, assistant superintendent Christina Spielbauer said the district was aware of the allegations and that the matter is under investigation.


Joanna Rothkopf

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Freedom Of Speech Nurse Patriotism Pennsylvania Pledge Of Allegiance School Students

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