Recently, the Roger Baldwin Foundation of the ACLU of Illinois spoke out on behalf of a concerned member of the Centralia community who learned that Centralia High School had a blanket policy compelling all students to stand during the morning recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. After the ACLU of Illinois was contacted, we sent a letter on February 2nd to the school district noting that compelling standing during the Pledge at the school is a violation of the First Amendment and runs counter to long standing case law on the subject. Read our letter to the high school officials.
A few days after receiving the letter, the school relented. In response to our letter, Chuck Lane, superintendent of Centralia High School, wrote to say that he agreed with the legal analysis laid out by the ACLU of Illinois legal staff. He reported to us that the school is eliminating its policy - contained in the student handbook for the 2010-2011 school year - that forced students to stand during the Pledge. The school also reported that until the policy goes into effect, no student will be punished for not standing during the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem. Read Centralia High School's response letter.