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  1. #1
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    Student suspended after telling Muslim student to stand up during the Pledge of Allegiance. Bonus: Also told her to "take that thing off her head"

    SPRING HILL — Heather Lawrence didn't know the name of the girl with the Muslim head covering, or where she was from.
    But as Lawrence walked by a classroom at Springstead High School on Wednesday, the 16-year-old junior did know one thing: The girl wasn't standing for the Pledge of Allegiance.
    Lawrence, an JROTC member who plans to enlist in the Army next summer, says she was aghast.
    "That's one of the most disrespectful things you can do," Lawrence recalled Friday. "Even the kids who are anarchists, who hate our government, still have respect to stand."
    A few bells later, Lawrence was on her way to English class when she saw the girl wearing a hijab in the hallway. Lawrence confronted her.
    She told her she should stand for the pledge. And, according to Lawrence's own account and a school referral on the incident, said, "Take that thing off your head and act like you're proud to be an American."
    A teacher overheard the encounter. Now Lawrence is serving a five-day, out-of-school suspension, and her parents are considering legal action.
    "You have someone in the States who is able to enjoy our educational and health care systems, yet it's okay for them to be disrespectful, and it's not okay for my daughter to speak her mind," said Mark Lawrence, Heather's father. "That's her First Amendment right. That's her freedom of speech."
    Springstead principal Susan Duval said school officials stand behind the punishment. Heather Lawrence violated the district's policy against bullying and harassment, Duval said. She was disciplined not for telling the girl to stand, but for her other comments — comments that Duval called atrocious.
    "It makes me ill," she said. "That is not what this school is about. These students should feel safe and secure here. We may have differences of opinion, but no student should have to tolerate harassment."
    After the incident, Lawrence was asked by a school staffer why she confronted the girl. "She began to rant that she was enlisting and was going to Iraq and that basically because the girl looks Middle Eastern, that makes her an enemy because all Iraqis are Middle Eastern," according to the referral signed by assistant principal Stephen Crognale.
    Lawrence denies she said that or feels that way.
    "Terrorists, regardless of who they are, what color they are, are the enemy," she said.
    School officials would not disclose the identity of the girl. Duval said she wasn't sure if the girl is new to Springstead or why she didn't stand for the pledge.
    Lawrence said the girl did not respond to her and simply walked away. Duval said the girl did not complain to school officials. Efforts by the St. Petersburg Times to find and reach her were unsuccessful Friday.
    As she served her first day of suspension, Lawrence admitted Friday that telling the girl to take off her hijab was "a little over the edge." Her father agreed she shouldn't have said it.
    "It wasn't meant to be a racial comment, and I wasn't trying to bash her religion," she said. "I didn't expect her to say (the pledge). I just expect her to stand up for it. If she had a problem with what I said, I'd be happy to apologize to her."
    Mark Lawrence says the district needs to be taken to task for putting words into his daughter's mouth. He hopes to reverse the suspension and says he's talked to a lawyer friend of the family.
    "I didn't raise my daughters to be prejudiced," he said, adding that the family dines often with friends of Iranian descent.
    Heather Lawrence has her own unpleasant pledge memory.
    She spent six months in Mexico while her father worked a contracting job and was booted out of a private school for not saying the pledge to the Mexican flag. But that was in Spanish — a language she doesn't know — and so she stopped trying to fake it. And, she says, she still stood up.
    Flaps over flag pledging have set legal precedent. A 17-year-old junior at Boynton Beach High School refused to stand for the pledge and was removed from class, prompting a lawsuit and a ruling last year by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court struck down a provision of Florida law requiring civilians to stand for the pledge.
    Ramzy Kiliç, executive director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he was concerned by Heather Lawrence's apparent cultural insensitivity.
    But he also said he was surprised to hear that a Muslim would not stand for the pledge. There is no tenet in the religion that encourages Muslims not to do so. "That's her right," Kiliç said. "I myself believe she should have stood."
    Still, Kiliç said he was happy to hear that Lawrence was willing to say she was sorry.
    "A public school reflects the demographics of America," he said. "We have to foster that, and one way to do that is for the girl to apologize. That should be the ultimate solution."
    The hijab clearly made the girl a target, said Dr. Adel Eldin, a Brooksville cardiologist who practices in Spring Hill.
    Eldin, who has been busy in August celebrating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, said he hopes school officials will seize the incident as a teachable moment about his faith.
    "If the principal would like to sponsor an educational night, I would be happy to talk to the kids," he said.

  2. #2
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    If they don't like this country let them get the hell out of our taxpayer funded school

  3. #3
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    Exactly what I was thinking, PGG. Our country has drastically become way too soft. I would have told them if they don't like our country and the way we run things, to leave and go back to where they came from. But that's just me.


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  4. #4
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    I don't care about the dress code, but by golly if she doesn't respect the Pledge of Allegiance, she should just be asked to leave the room.

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    Captain America's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator View Post

    The hijab clearly made the girl a target, said Dr. Adel Eldin, a Brooksville cardiologist who practices in Spring Hill.
    Eldin, who has been busy in August celebrating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, said he hopes school officials will seize the incident as a teachable moment about his faith.
    "If the principal would like to sponsor an educational night, I would be happy to talk to the kids," he said.
    Why does the above phrase sound familar? Must be written in the Koran . Only in America could tolerance be shown to someone who disrespects and probably hates this country and intolerance be shown to someone who loves and respect it. Wake up people, this is what is happening to our kids in schools and colleges across this country. They are being indoctrinated in the culture of Blame America. They are being taught to hate their country and we are the great Satan. Those that have proud in being an American will be punished for their "ignorance." What was this "rogue , out of control" student thinking , telling someone she did not appreciate them disrespecting her country. My God , what hate speak. We are going to politically correct ourselves right out of existence folks. Last one out turn off the lights.
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

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    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

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  6. #6
    Morris is offline Chief Wheaties Pisser
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    Right or wrong, the person's choice not to stand or recite the Pledge of Allegiance is protected speech, under the color of the First Amendment. There is nothing in the federal constitution that compels a person to act to the pledge.

    Distasteful? Yes. Constitutional? Yes.

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    I have to agree with Morris.

    I've corrected people who failed to stand or remove their hat, but they could have just as easily told me to fuck off.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Morris View Post
    Right or wrong, the person's choice not to stand or recite the Pledge of Allegiance is protected speech, under the color of the First Amendment. There is nothing in the federal constitution that compels a person to act to the pledge.

    Distasteful? Yes. Constitutional? Yes.

    You're exactly right.


    And Heather Lawrence has the same right to tell someone to stand for the pledge, and motherfuck the shit out of them if they don't.

    Constitutional, and not nearly as distasteful in my opinion.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

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  9. #9
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    As far as I'm concerned you better stand up for the pledge. If one wants to enjoy the freedom that thousands of young men died for on some foreign beach, jungle, snow covered mountain, or in the air and on the seas, they damn well better get up off their sorry ass and show some respect. How hard is that to do? This mighty country sure is getting soft. And the young (I want change) candy ass generation will have to live in the future with the consequences. This sure is a great time to be old, because the future is looking gloomy. May God give the weak the strength and courage to do right. He certainly gave those brave, fearless, gallant young American fighting men the courage to defend this country for freedom. So, standing up for less than 15 seconds to show respect and be proud will hurt no one living in free America.
    As today's police officers you are not unlike your counterparts of years past. You are an elite group of select members, a brotherhood of highly trained professionals, who are called upon to protect your community in a time of need. Guardians for safety. Being a police officer is not for the faint of heart. You must be honest, trustworthy and fearless in the face of evil. You are being watched everyday. Represent yourself, your department and the shield, for it should always be the embodiment of all that is good and justly. You are the thin blue line. Be proud, be tough and be safe.

  10. #10
    Captain America's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    You're exactly right.


    And Heather Lawrence has the same right to tell someone to stand for the pledge, and motherfuck the shit out of them if they don't.

    Constitutional, and not nearly as distasteful in my opinion.

    Yep.
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

    "It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

    Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
    -General Omar Bradley, United States Army

    Renniger-Richards-Griswold-Owens

  11. #11
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morris View Post
    Right or wrong, the person's choice not to stand or recite the Pledge of Allegiance is protected speech, under the color of the First Amendment. There is nothing in the federal constitution that compels a person to act to the pledge.

    Distasteful? Yes. Constitutional? Yes.
    But this is a school - She could be asked to leave the room if she doesn't want to participate - Same as any other activity.

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  12. #12
    Five-0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    You're exactly right.


    And Heather Lawrence has the same right to tell someone to stand for the pledge, and motherfuck the shit out of them if they don't.

    Constitutional, and not nearly as distasteful in my opinion.
    Bingo. It amazes me how the Constitution seems to protect those that hate it more than it protects those that stand up for it......at least in the mind of the politically correct school administrator it seems. The administration at this school must be suffering from a rectal-cranal inversion problem.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie View Post
    But this is a school - She could be asked to leave the room if she doesn't want to participate - Same as any other activity.
    Case law says you're wrong.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
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  14. #14
    Morris is offline Chief Wheaties Pisser
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    Let's role play here:

    You are in a room in which it is filled with Obama supporters. As "Hail to the Chief" is being played and the president strides in, everyone but you stands up. You sit because you don't want to or don't think it's appropriate (despite being a sign of respect for the office). Several people who did stand up note that you didn't.

    You go out into the lobby after he speaks and are getting a cup of coffee. One person who saw you confronts you and demands to know why you failed to stand. Further, they loudly tell you to get rid of that stupid Gadsen flag pin on your shirt.

    Have they violated your constitutional rights? Was it proper how they approached you? Should they have the right to demand you leave the room, even though you were invited or paid to be there? Should that person "motherfuck the shit" out of you for simply not standing or wearing a pin they find offensive?

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    Five-0's Avatar
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    Morris all I can say to your scenario is that I personally would stand as you said for the office. I have stood for the the Canadian National Anthem out of simple respect and decency. In this country it has been my experience that those on the left have a propensity for lacking class, honor, or logic in their protests. I'm all for people having the right to disagree, however I deplore the stupid, indecent, and classless. Enjoying the freedoms and liberties of this county and then protesting the symbols of the country is akin to being an supporter of abortion and then slapping one's mother in the face for giving birth. My dislike of the stupid, indecent, and classless people amoung us knows no politcal affiliation, creed, or belief. Not looking for a fight, but just saying.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

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    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

  16. #16
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morris View Post
    Have they violated your constitutional rights? Was it proper how they approached you? Should they have the right to demand you leave the room, even though you were invited or paid to be there? Should that person "motherfuck the shit" out of you for simply not standing or wearing a pin they find offensive?
    You were the one that pointed out it's her right to not stand for the pledge. I was the one that pointed out that it's a two way street.

    In that case, and in your role play, it is still a two way street.

    If I don't want to stand for the President when Hail to the Chief is playing (I would out of respect for the office, not necessarily the person) then I've got that right (as you above). And if someone wants to throw a fit over it, they've got that right (as I stated above).

    Hurt feelings should NOT be a legal or governmental issue.

    What's the issue here? I'm pretty sure we're agreeing.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

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  17. #17
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    if some kid doesnt want to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance, who the fuck cares?

    if another kid gets pissed, and speaks his or her mind...again, who the fuck cares?

    im pretty sure both acts are protected under the constitution? why is this an issue. its not harassment, as it was one single (brief) conversation. its a kid speaking her mind one time and both moved on. hey, if i had to wear an eye patch for some reason, and a bunch of kids started calling me an ass pirate, id be pissed, but id just have to get over it. if the eye patch had some significance to my race, faith, and religeon, again, it would be insulting, but id just have to get over it. i get called a white trash racist cracker motherfucker on occassion at work by some asshole just for doing my job as a white police officer in uniform. not much i can do there but take it and move on. it is what it is.
    in the warriors code there's no surrender, though his body says stop, his spirit cries...NEVER. deep in our souls, a quiet ember, knows its you against you, its the paradox that drives us all. its a battle of wills, in the heat of attack, its the passion that kills, and victory is yours alone.


    the posts and opinions stated by me do not in any way reflect the values, beliefs, or views of my department. they are simply opinions and/or observations which have been developed through my personal experiences. hell, most of the stories probably arent even true...wink wink

 

 

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