The San Jacinto Unified School District has issued a statement of apology to an atheist student who refused to stand and participate during the Pledge of Allegiance. According to the Press Enterprise, the apology was reportedly issued after the Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to the boy’s school, Monte Vista Middle School.
The letter addressed the incident where 11-year-old Ivan Covarrubias was berated by a teacher because of his beliefs. The organization also cited Covarrubias’ rights, which grant him the legal right to remain seated during the expression of fealty to the United States flag. In addition, the request for a statement of apology, the teacher has also been asked to remove a classroom banner that reads, “Prayer Changes Things.”
As previously reported on Inquisitr, the boy’s mother, Sandra Covarrubias, expressed they are an atheist family. Although they have no problem with the Pledge of Allegiance, the “Under God” portion of the oath is something they prefer not to acknowledge.
“We’re an atheist family, we don’t really believe ‘under God’ should be in the pledge. I’m OK with the flag, just take those words out.”
When the boy’s mother learned of the teacher’s admonishment toward her son, she contacted the American Humanist Association, who, in turn, sent a letter to the school on the boy’s behalf. Legal director of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center, Daniel Niose, weighed in with his sentiments of the outcome. The organization and Covarrubias family are quite “pleased” with the way school officials have rectified the situation. He also briefly touched on the topic of separation between church and state.
“We’re pleased that the school district has recognized the rights of students to remain seated during the Pledge, as well as the need to keep references to prayer and other religious practices out of the classroom,” Niose said.
Sandra is also elated with the school district’s acknowledgement of their rights and beliefs. “I see it as a victory,” said Sandra. “When I read the letter, I was very happy. At least they said they will make changes. That’s a good thing.”
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