An Indiana mom is suing a principal and teacher for allegedly forcing her 7-year-old child to recite the Pledge of Allegiance against the boy's will, court documents show.
According to court documents, the child was removed from teacher Kelly McFarland's class and sent to the principal Mary Beth Harris’s office. The mother, Jamie Porter, alleges that the boy was later required by Harris to recite the Pledge with her.
Porter is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages in federal court.
The boy is a student in the Vigo County School Corporation, located near Terre Haute, Indiana.
The lawsuit cites an Indiana statue that says, "The governing body of each school corporation shall provide a daily opportunity for students of the school corporation to voluntarily recite the Pledge of Allegiance in each classroom.” The lawsuit also claims that forcing the boy to recite the Pledge is a violation of the boy's First Amendment rights.
The lawsuit alleges that the boy had never been sent to the principal’s office before and was extremely upset about this as he believed he was being punished for having done something wrong.
The lawsuit adds that after 20 minutes of sitting in the principal's office, the boy was forced to practice the Pledge of Allegiance.
"The actions of defendants were taken with malice or with reckless and wanton disregard of clear law that indicates that a student may sit quietly during the Pledge of Allegiance," the lawsuit alleges.