Is it lawful to make a child say the pledge of allegiance? 26 Answers as of July 09, 2013

I am wondering if it is against the law to force a child to say the pledge of allegiance in school? And would this be a violation of the child's constitutional rights?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
It might depend upon what shool district and what school- public or private etc.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/8/2013
Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
Reciting the pledge of allegance is a normal practice in school. If the child had a valid reason for not wanting to do it, the school may make accomidation. If you believe this is a issue worth pursuing, you should contact the local ACLU.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/4/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
do not feel that a child can be compelled to recite the pledge of alligence or to be forced to pray in school. They should be allowed to remain in their chair, or even possibly leave the room.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 10/3/2011
Timothy J. Thill P.C.
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
Consult an attorney versed in Constitutional law. this is not a criminal case, but my guess in answering your question is that they can do NOTHING against your child, and if they try to, consult the ACLU in your jurisdiction.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 9/29/2011
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
No, a child cannot be forced to say the pledge (if they are in a public school). If it is a private school, then, yes, they could be required to do so.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 9/29/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Federal rights would not permit the forcible recitation of the pledge of allegiance.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    That is one of those esoteric and theoretical questions that can only be answered after doing a detailed investigation of the surrounding facts and circumstances and then extensive legal research.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    There was a case in the Supreme Court where under the separation of church and state the words under God were removed from the pelage of allegiance in schools. Although peer pressure and school policy may make a child think that they must say the pledge of allegiance no one is required to make a pledge if they do not believe in it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    I believe a child can refuse to say pledge based on freedom of religion and 1st amendment basis. My memory is that there was a case from the 60's involving an atheist.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You can ask a child to say the pledge of allegiance but I do not believe you can use actual "force" on a child in school. The child has a constitutional right to refuse to pray, say the pledge of allegiance, or do anything that is not legally "required' by the school.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    I don't think anyone can be forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    A child cannot be forced to say the pledge of allegiance if they do not want to. If they are forced to, there could potentially be a violation of their civil rights. Consult with a civil rights attorney or contact an ACLU chapter to speak to someone who has more expertise in that area.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Halprin Law Office
    Halprin Law Office | Richard Halprin
    They cannot make the child recite the Pledge of Allegiance without violating 1st Amendment rights.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    It is not against any criminal penal codes to make a child recite the Pledge of Allegiance. However, there may be grounds for civil claims or civil rights violations.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin | Daniel K Martin
    It is a violation of First Amendment and Second Amendment if the school is a public school and the person forcing the child was acting as a government agent.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    If you are talking abot the "under God" phrase, that was litigated several years ago and the US Supreme Court said it was not unconstitutional to have that phrase in the pledge. What's wrong with saying the pledge?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Yes it would. The ACLU has handled many cases like this. The problem is that unless the child was raised in a family who took the first amendment seriously he/she may not be able to withstand the hazing from "patriotic" classmates. Of course under the new rulesregarding hazing - when the school does nothing they can be sued - they may quickly put a stop to the hazing. Talk to the closest American Civil Liberties Union office. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Yes, they can't force you to say the pledge. UNLESS it is a private school. Then they can do whatever they want. At public schools it is illegal to force.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Burdon and Merlitti
    Burdon and Merlitti | Adam Van Ho
    The United States Supreme Court has never addressed the question directly. As a general rule, if the child does not wish to say the pledge, then the parents should discuss those wishes with school officials. If school officials still insist that the child say the pledge, I would discuss the case and the specifics of the case with an attorney or a representative of a group like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Laguzzi Law, P.C.
    Laguzzi Law, P.C. | Carina Laguzzi
    This is not a criminal defense question. The short answer is it depends on where the child goes to school. Talk to the teacher about yoir concerns.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/9/2013
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Ask the ACLU. I believe in this country and in the Pledge of Allegiance. This is not a criminal law issue either. You are asking a question having to do with civil rights and Constitutional Law. As for me, I love this country and our Constitution and am proud to say the words ".one nation under God with liberty and justice for all."
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    There is a dispute as to weather the child is required to say "under God."
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    This is not a criminal law question but a civil rights question. Does the child care or are you as the parent trying to make an issue putting the child in the middle.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/28/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney