Florida teacher suspended after forcing Jehovah’s Witness student to say Pledge of Allegiance

Anne Daigle-McDonald grabbed the boy’s hand and placed it over his heart, allegedly saying ‘If you don't want to do that, you should move out of the country.’ The Hernando County school district later suspended her for violating the student's right to free exercise of religion.

WESLEY HITT/GETTY IMAGES'You are an American, and you are supposed to salute the flag,' Anne Daigle McDonald told her class of fourth graders at the Explorer K-8 School.

AFlorida teacher told her fourth grade student to pledge allegiance to the flag...or else.
Hernando County school teacher Anne Daigle-McDonald has been suspended without pay after grabbing a student’s wrist, placing it over his heart, and forcing him to recite the Pledge.

The boy, a Jehovah’s Witness, reminded the teacher that his religion doesn’t allow him to worship objects. He stood up out of respect for his country, but he didn’t want to put his hand over his heart.

"You are an American, and you are supposed to salute the flag," Daigle-McDonald reportedly said, according to a statement the boy gave the Explorer K-8 school.
The first incident happened on Sept. 11, the 12-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The next day, Daigle-McDonald noticed that the boy hadn’t changed his habits. That’s when she decided to turn the incident into a lesson for all her young students.
She yanked the boy’s hand over his heart and then told the entire class, “In my classroom, everyone will do the pledge; no religion says that you can't do the pledge."
She continued, "If you don't want to say the pledge, you still have to put your hand on your heart and if you don't want to do that, you should move out of the country.”
After hearing about the teacher’s actions, the Hernando County School Board interviewed several of the boy’s classmates, who corroborated his story.
Students pledging allegiance to the American flag with the Bellamy salute. It was replaced with today’s ‘hand-over-heart’ salute during World War II, since it looked similar to the gesture used by Adolf Hitler’s Nazis.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/WIKIPEDIAStudents pledging allegiance to the American flag with the Bellamy salute. It was replaced with today’s ‘hand-over-heart’ salute during World War II, since it looked similar to the gesture used by Adolf Hitler’s Nazis.

Officials at the school district recently concluded that the teacher had overstepped her bounds by taking away the student’s right to free speech and freedom of religion, which are both protected by the First Amendment. On top of that, Daigle-McDonald was accused of violating professional conduct protocol and state education rules.
"She touched a child and that is no-no," grandparent Donna Walker told WTSP. "She should not be teaching here. She should not be teaching children."
Daigle-McDonald was in fact removed from student contact and given an alternative school job on Sept. 12. She was also suspended for five days without pay and ordered to undergo diversity training.
During the investigation, the teacher defended herself by saying that the boy’s mother had never explained that she didn’t want her child to say the pledge.
"His mother told me that he didn't celebrate holidays or birthdays, and I told her that was fine," the teacher said.
Instead of standing up, the boy had taken to doodling during the pledge, the teacher said. Daigle-McDonald explained that she didn’t want other students to start imitating the boy, especially on Sept. 11.
"(I) just wanted all of the students to respect the day," she said. "It wasn't a holiday, so I didn't see why the whole class couldn't say the pledge."
President Dwight D. Eisenhower added 'under God' to the Pledge during the anti-communist movement of the 1950s.
WIKIMEDIA COMMONSPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower added 'under God' to the Pledge during the anti-communist movement of the 1950s.

But students’ right to opt out of the pledge has been recognized as a form of free speech for decades. The Supreme Court confirmed this right back in 1943, with the case West Virginia State Board of Education vs. Barnette.
The Pledge of Allegiance was originally written in the late nineteenth century by Francis Bellamy, a pastor who was kicked out of the Baptist church for his socialist leanings. Bellamy instructed citizens to start the Pledge off with a military salute and then extend their hands outward towards the flag, NPRreports. But this gesture was discarded during World War II, since it closely resembled the Nazis’ salute.
The Pledge became popular during the era of anti-communism, as a way to celebrate loyalty to the American flag and way of life.
It seems Daigle-McDonald still believes that refusing to say the pledge is like refusing to be a good citizen.
"It was directed at citizenship,” Daigle-McDonald said during the investigation. “I was talking about pledging allegiance to our country, and if you don't want to pledge to our country, you should go to your home country." 


  1. Wow...Jehovah will always fight for us if we did not compromise our neutrality but remain holy...the young one is a very good example

  2. veeery good! I also compliment those young JW for for refusing to compromise their faith,they set a very good example

  3. It has happend to me in my second year in high school(1992)bt in my case it was not to say a pledge,I had to sing a hymn at assembly.it was like that teacher had watched me before.after assembly he called me to his office.he shouts,he was so mean he even told me I think I'm better than ather pupils.Jehova gave me courage and power.I told him every thing .

  4. a case of Infringing upon d childs human rights n bullying. wat a thing of joy that certain govtmental authorities uphold our rights where some shy away, much prayers to our bros. in those lands.

  5. D teacher s nt evn a good citizen, hence she should av known wot Freedom of choice means. Evn our creator do nt force us to worship him let alone Mortals. Our children must obey God as ruler rada dan men.Good faithful witness. Glad the US Supreme Court ruled that no one should be forced to do that.

  6. As Jehovahs Witnesses world we recognized that worship belong to our God Jehovah alone as Jesus taught us to do in Matt 4: 8-10 all Allegiance is to Jehovah not to the Nation by reciting the pledge.
    Agape to all from the Phil., stay faithful to Jehovah. ( Romans 14:8) ( Psalms 118:6)--- Jehovah is on my side; I shall not fear. What can earthling man do to me?
    They can do nothing to us cos Jehovah is backing us up

  7. We need to be strong and hold our integrity to Jehovah, as we go through the end of this system, we will come across more and more persecution, we need to be strong in our conviction, and totally, totally rely on Jehovah, know that he will always protect those who love him totally, we need to remember that satan is desperate and he is running out of time, he will do anything to put pressure on us to leave Jehovah, lets show him that we will do anything to stand by Jehovah no matter what. Love you all my dear brothers and sisters.

  8. С начало заставляют руки прикладывать к сердцу а потом и к автомату, да и нажимать на курок или кнопку для убийств братьев и сестёр.
    Хотелось бы добавить, взращивают патриотизм, патриотизму нужна пища, пища патриотов это война, война это убийство, убийство это смерть. Так что получается что патриотизм это смерть для всех людей. Патриотизм болезнь, заражённая смертью. А лекарство от патриотизма это ЛЮБОВЬ, ДОЛГОТЕРПЕНИЕ, ПРОЩЕНИЕ, ВЕРА, СОСТРАДАНИЕ, против этого нет закона.

  9. ШУНЬ-КИН ТАНЬFebruary 10, 2015 at 7:44 AM

    Мир сатаны хочет сделать нас похожими на последователей сатаны. Как я поняла: учительница сказала, если не хотите давать клятву верности флагу или стране, то нужно покинуть страну?! Это еще одно доказательство, что СИ вне политики ВЕЗДЕ во ВСЕХ странах мира!


Popular Posts