Tuesday, September 01, 2009


SPRING HILL, FL – Last week 16-year-old Heather Lawrence, a JROTC student, walked down the school corridor and discovered a Muslim girl with a head wrap who did not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. A few hours later, Lawrence verbally confronted the Muslim student in essence telling her to take off her religious head wrap and to stand for the Pledge.

Lawrence was suspended for bullying and the blogosphere went nuts with patriotic support for the soon-to-be Army recruit. The discipline referral, signed by assistant principal Stephen Crognale, stated:

"She began to rant that she was enlisting and was going to Iraq and that basically because the girl looks Middle Eastern, that makes her an enemy because all Iraqis are Middle Eastern."

She maintains her comments were not intended to be racial in nature. She just wanted the Muslim girl to stand for the Pledge.

Apparently, it's not bullying or harassment to hate someone's skin color if you love your country. Ethics be damned. Hate be praised. Perhaps I am being a bit too hard on the child and should give her the benefit of the doubt that she was not being hateful toward a Muslim?

SPRING HILL, FL. – The part about the Muslim girl not standing for the Pledge of Allegiance? Yeah, the JROTC member and future solider made that part up, according to school officials. Springstead principal Susan Duval said:

"This girl lied. "I have confirmed with the homeroom teacher the young (Muslim) lady stood for the pledge. She's compounded the story as an explanation as to why she felt it was okay to make a very disparaging comment to this young lady."

The strong undercurrent of Muslim hatred is deep. It was seen during the presidential election and it is alive and well today. It does not have to be that way. Minors often see the world in black and whites. It's part of the natural human development.

More than punishing the JROTC student (whose suspension has been reduced) I think it is important to find out where these irrational fears come from and work to educate people. Just because there are some bad Muslim terrorists (just like there are some bad Christian abortion bombers) we should not hate an entire group. It's not rational and I hope the community can help this girl and her family understand their wrong doing and make a change.

Despite the fervent bloggers' beliefs, the JROTC student was not patriotic in her opinion or her actions. Just because someone is a member of the armed forces does not mean they have the right to bully, or on a larger scale, torture.


Jeremy D. Young said...

I agree. People jump to conclusions.

Our freedom is an individual right. Every individual has the same freedom and responsibility as the rest of the individuals in this country.

Every individual deserves the first amendment rights to express their religion. They also have the right to oppose their government, and pursue their interests as long as they do not infringe on any other individuals' rights.

This JROTC member infringed upon another's rights, and should have appropriate action taken.

As a side note, we should all be free from government schools where bullying and other destructive socialization takes place.

Jason Rohrblogger said...

America's soldiers are fighting terrorists (everywhere, not just in the Middle East) so that we can be free to worship how we want to, and NOT say the Pledge of Allegiance if we don't want to. Jehovah's Witnesses do say the Pledge of Allegiance. Nobody is going to invade them anytime soon. JROTC members are held to a higher level of scholarship, physical fitness, and grooming standards than regular students. They should also be held to a higher level of tolerance, discipline, and behavoir. And they should clearly understand their mission and why they serve. I am thankful every day for our professional and highly-skilled military. It means I can ramble on in a blog comment like this one without fear of a late-night knock on my door, or a JROTC cadet harshing my mellow...