A 15-year-old Texas teen decided to stop saying the Pledge of Allegiance as a form of protest against big government, but his school responded to this demonstration of First Amendment principles by suspending him.
The teen, Needville High School’s Mason Michelac, disagrees with the federal government’s policy of violating American citizens’ civil liberties by relentlessly spying on them and regulating their Internet freedoms.
“I’m really tired of our government taking advantage of us,” said Michalec in a statement to KHOU. “I don’t agree with the NSA spying on us. And I don’t agree with any of those Internet laws.”
This year, Michalec decided to stop standing for his school’s daily recital of the Pledge of Allegiance as a small protest against the policies he opposes. He loves the U.S. but despises authoritarian laws.
One of the freedoms guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution is the right to free speech and free expression.
Still, Michalec’s quiet protest earned him a two-day suspension. His teacher accused him of disrespecting school administrators.
“I am angry and frustrated and annoyed that they would try to write me up for something I have the right to do,” said Michalec.
Administrators did not immediately respond to a request for comment.