Minersville School District V. Gobitis

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Minersville School District v. Gobitis When people think of the American flag, they often think of the symbol of our country, the symbol of freedom. The flag represents everything our country stands for and the sacrifices made to preserve our way of life. The Pledge of Allegiance has also been a essential part of our school system and a way for school children to honor their country. But not all religions embrace the idea of holding up the American flag and reciting the Pledge. Many school children and adults have tested the idea of Patriotism and what it means to be a American with a different religion. Many court cases have brought up the issue of school patriotism to national attention. Minersville School District v. Gobitis was a case in the Supreme Court dealing with the religious rights of school children. The courts argument is that schools should force students under any religion to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and honor the American flag, although the students religion was against these practices. Two Jehovah's Witness school children, ages 10 and 12, Lillian and William Gobitis were suspended from school for refusing to salute the American flag in Minersville, Pennsylvania. The Gobitis children were Jehovah's Witnesses; they believed that such a gesture of respect for the flag was forbidden by their religion. Their parents claimed that the children's' due process rights had been violated by the school district, they believed their children had the right to refuse to say the Pledge. In an 8-to-1 decision, the Court upheld the mandatory flag salute The Court held that the state's interest in "national cohesion" was "inferior to none in the hierarchy of legal values" and that national unity was the idea of national security. The court found that the flag was an important symbol of national unity and that school children should respect and salute

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