District responds to student’s Pledge of Allegiance lawsuit

Photo of author

By admin

COLOMBIA, South Carolina — A South Carolina school district said a ninth-grader walking down a hallway was detained during a moment of silence and not during the Pledge of Allegiance, as the student claimed in a lawsuit filed last month.

Marissa Barnwell said a River Bluff High School teacher pushed her against a wall when she didn’t stop to recite the pledge while walking to class in November, according to her family’s lawsuit.

An attorney for Lexington School District 1 said hallway videos show the teacher touched Barnwell’s shoulder to get her attention, but did not push her.

It also shows that the confrontation did not take place until after the end of the Pledge of Allegiance, which state law says students can refuse to recite if they are not disruptive, and the beginning of a moment of silence.

Barnwell did not stay silent, arguing with the teacher until she walked away, the district said.

“There would be no school ban that requires students to stop what they are doing, including walking down the hall, and remain silent during the moment of silence,” wrote school district attorney David Lyon.

Barnwell told reporters this month that she felt humiliated and feared she was in trouble.

“I was totally and utterly disrespected,” the 15-year-old said. “No one has apologized, no one has acknowledged my pain.”

The district said that although the principal discussed the incident with her, a full investigation determined that neither she nor the teacher should face disciplinary action.

The district said it reviewed all of the hallway footage and not just the clip posted by the student’s parents. The family’s lawyer and parents were also shown all the videos.

The police also did their own investigation and did not press charges.

Along with the teacher, the teen’s family is suing the principal, school district and state education officials, saying they violated the student’s civil rights and her First Amendment rights to both free speech and freedom of expression. not talk at all.

In a statement, Lexington School District 1 said both its employees and Barnwell are receiving “extremely hateful communications.”

“District leaders strongly condemn this inappropriate behavior. We care about all of our students and employees and are sorry that those involved in this situation have been subjected to cruel messages,” district officials wrote.

Leave a Comment