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Hubbard student’s refusal to recite pledge draws in ACLU

Published: Wed, November 18, 2009 @ 12:10 a.m.

By Jon Moffett

Hubbard school officials have ‘dealt with’ the matter, the superintendent said.

HUBBARD — The American Civil Liberties Union in Ohio sent Hubbard school officials a letter Tuesday requiring the district to cease punishing students who refuse to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

A female student at Hubbard High School was reprimanded for her refusal to recite or stand during the pledge.

Some students nationwide are refusing to recite the pledge because of personal beliefs.

“It was dealt with two weeks ago,” said Richard Buchenic, Hubbard schools superintendent. “We have a policy that states we will have teachers recite the Pledge of Allegiance, but students are not required to participate.”

Buchenic would not discuss the incident or the student, whose name was not disclosed.

But Buchenic did say he had spoken with officials from the ACLU, and the matter had been “dealt with.”

Carrie Davis, a staff counsel with the ACLU of Ohio, said the student, who she believes is a senior, was repeatedly punished.

“They [Hubbard High School] have the Pledge of Allegiance recited during their first-period class,” Davis said. “This student refused to stand up and was repeatedly written up and sent to the principal’s office, where she was lectured for refusing to stand.”

Davis said after speaking with Buchenic on Tuesday that she believed the superintendent would communicate the policy to the teachers, faculty, staff and students accordingly.

“We’re very glad to hear that the school has a policy and that they intend to follow that policy,” she said. “We will be staying in touch with that student to make sure she is not being punished further.”

This marks the second time in two days that a student has refused to stand for the pledge.

A 10-year-old boy from Arkansas recently announced his boycott of the pledge because the content, according to him, does not match up with how America is being run.

Will Phillips, of Westport, Ark., told CNN he, too, refused to recite the pledge.

According to an article from the news source, Will takes exception to the pledge’s last line, which reads: “liberty and justice for all.”

Will contends that until gays and lesbians are given equal rights, the pledge is fraudulent.

Davis said there hasn’t been an increase in the amount of cases the ACLU handles with regard to the pledge.

“I think it’s just coincidental that we have a couple happening at once,” she said.

She added that students have every right to refuse to recite the pledge if they have issues with it.



1karol207(42 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

I don't buy it one bit. I went to hubbard n u did NOT have2stand n say a pledge in am@the begining of the day. But what gets me is that this student is being disrespectfull. She should of stood up and remained standing as a respect factor. Don't want 2 say it fine,but b respectful 2 othrs. Bonus-mr.buchenic was a principal then!!!

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2ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

You went to Hubbard but you write like that? I am a Hubbard graduate and I learned that Hubbard should be capitalized and that "n u" is not an acceptable abbreviation for "and you". Please don't disrespect our alma mater by displaying your gross ignorance of the 12 years of English classes that you apparently were present for but did not participate in.

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3valleygal(25 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

You said it LOL! Even if you don't agree with something, you can still show respect. Tolerance is a funny thing... I always thought it was respecting the opinions of others -- agreeing to disagree. I never thought that meant that I have to give up something that I believe in because someone else doesn't like it; I'm finding that those who preach tolerance are themselves most intolerant.

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4grkfire(52 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

If these people do not want to stand, fine. Then they should be shipped to another country. Maybe they will like it there.

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5aeparish(669 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

I'm sorry, but I have no tolerance for people who won't say the pledge. I don't care if you're 6, 16, or 66 -- there's no excuse not to say it.

Perhaps this girl needs to take a field trip to the Middle East. I'm sure she'd be reciting the Pledge all the way to the airport as a way of begging not to go.

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6epicfail(217 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

This is still America and we can still dissent peacefully. More power to the girl for exercising her God given rights.

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7CitizenJ(34 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

I don't consider myself religious in the slightest bit, but I do agree that we should treat others as we want to be treated.

Regardless of your religion, you should not have a problem standing for the pledge of allegiance, provided you live in this country. It is a sign of respect to others.

Also, I don't really see how anyone can be offended by "Merry Christmas". Even if it's not something you believe in, it's a peaceful, warm greeting. I don't know that I've ever heard anyone say "Merry Christmas" with bad intent.

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8Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

"A female student at Hubbard High School was reprimanded for her refusal to recite or stand during the pledge."

Taking a stand early in life is good . Not everyone is happy with America . To those that aren't happy there is hope . We aren't the only country in the world . PICK ONE OUT AND MAKE PLANS TO EMIGRATE AND BE HAPPY !

For the rest of us we will be happy that you are no longer oppressed ! :)

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9RFederer(116 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Actually, America was built on dissent. Last time I looked, we still had freedom of speech which includes NOT saying the pledge or burning the flag. Those rights (of dissent) were just as much a part of the soldiers fight as were those who want to say the pledge or fly the flag. It's a free country and just because you don't agree with someone actions, doesn't make them wrong or you right.

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10JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

I've been regarded as pretty liberal on these pages but I'm not a big fan of the ACLU and have to agree with the majority of posters here -- there are productive ways to reach out to government reps without disrespecting the rest of the country and its citizens. Telephone, mail, e-mail…the list goes on and on; this is not the ‘60’s where the Ivory Tower was unapproachable and people had to be civilly disobedient for recognition. There again…maybe these kids weren’t paying attention in History and Civics class.

Since it is a public school they should figure out what the taxpayers have allocated to her education each week for the last twelve years and send her parents a bill (unless she's over 18, at which point she should get the bill); she'd likely change her tune pretty quickly at that point.

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11AKAFR1(322 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

I agree with her right not to participate in reciting the pledge. The purpose of our schools is to educate students and not waste time and resources on controversy.

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12RFederer(116 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

The problem with some Americans is they see dissent as disrespecting something or someone. I see dissent as one of the most American of actions. People who simply stand lemming like and recite a meaningless pledge and then refuse to make any sacrifice for America are hypocrites. Just like putting an American flag on your Hummer is hypocritical. I wonder how the Hubbard BOE can tell the teachers they need to pledge allegiance?

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13Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

If you don't support the defense of where you live then pack up and emigrate to where you will be happy .

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14AKAFR1(322 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

I agree RF

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15JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

A meaningless pledge? That's a bit much, don't you think?

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16RFederer(116 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Not really, I suspect the soldier who killed 13 at Fort Hood took some sort pledge also! Reciting a pledge is about as relevant as putting a yellow ribbon on your car.

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17cambridge(4132 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

It's comical that someone that chooses not to recite a pledge to start their day is vilified and told to leave the country.

On the other hand people that screamed kill him in the last Presidential election, referring to the opponent, or refer to the President as Marxist, socialist, communist death panel advocate who is trying to ruin America by saving or creating millions of jobs in stopping the collapse of the financial and auto industries are considered patriots. It's interesting that these so called patriots are led by Rupert Murdoch an Australian immigrant with his own agenda for America.

When the Bill of Rights refers to freedom of speech and expression that doesn't mean that someone else is free to choose what you are free to say or express.

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18Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Amazing. What is so hard about standing up during the Pledge of Allegiance if you don't believe in it. Anything to complain about, anything to cause controversy, and anything to be in the spotlight, if your so hell bent on not honoring the Pledge of Allegiance then write/call/email the appropriate people (in private, not public) instead of getting the press,ACLU, etc involved. Why? To have your 15 seconds of shame? To complain about something you really don't no the full extent of (your a child for Gods sake). People need to stop being so pig-headed and just stand up for America. The Pledge of Alliance proclaims loyalty to the United States and if you can't honor that, then you shouldn't be in this County, nothing more, nothing less.

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19candystriper(575 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

The Bill of Rights...you have no rights...just an idea...it is fictional...ask those held in the Japanese American Internment Camp of 1942. She is using the flag as a theatrical prop. I want the right to cut in front of her in the DMV line.

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20steelerman09(111 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

I love the fact that high school kids can get a drivers license and drive a car, yet the media can't print their names....If they are big enough to raise this big of a stink, identify this person! Why does this make such a big news story anyway? If you don't want to stand up, then leave the country. You are old enough to do it, right?

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21Hifi(4 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Hey, we will believe anything you pro-Pledge folks have to say about the Pledge is serious when we see you out pledging the flag every day as you would force little kids to be doing.

And, let's get one thing clear, people already moved to a country, one where they could have freedom of expression - it is this one, or used to be before so many got on the Christian fascists. You do know that the Pledge written by a national socialist, don't you and was the model for Hitlers stiff armed salute for his national socialist party.

More importantly, how soon we forget that Jehovah's Witnesses in Nazi Germany were among the first to be persecuted for refusing to stand during the Sieg Heil salute, which so closely resembles our Pledge of Allegiance. Forcing this upon our citizens, and especially young children, crosses a line that is un-American. And when you consider this is mostly elementary school age kids, it amounts to little more than bullying.

Every American should understand that there is more to the Supreme Court ruling that applies here than just declaring it unconstitutional to force kids to stand for the Pledge. The majority opinion in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, written by Justice Robert Jackson in 1943, became one of the great statements in American constitutional law and history.

"If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein."

The true legacy of Barnette is less its jurisprudence than its defense of the principles of freedom. Justice Jackson continued, "Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard."

I would ask you to stop and think for a minute what kind of patriot you, yourself, are by where you stand on this basic principal we call freedom.

More at: http://members.cox.net/patriotismforall/

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22Hifi(4 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Another angle to make you think twice about supporting the nationalism in the Pledge.

Every conservative should be opposed to the Pledge on principle as contrary to the principles of a Federated Republic. When first introduced by the national socialist, Francis Bellamy, brother of the famous socialist activist Edward Bellamy, conservatives viewed the Pledge with great suspicion. Why? Because of the then foreign concept of pledging allegiance to “one nation”.

To Americans of the late 19th century, “allegiance” was a feudal concept denoting subservience to a master. Americans considered themselves sovereigns, not subjects. They feared that the natural supremacy of the individual over his government, as reflected by the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed in the constitutions of the United States and of the several states, might eventually be overturned by the ideas expressed in the Pledge.

They, unlike so many Americans today, understood that those who exercise the instruments of government — public servants — feel more comfortable ruling than serving.

More on the Pledge at:
More at: http://members.cox.net/patriotismforall/

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23candystriper(575 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

steelerman ... at my DMV they have a sign that says if you use foul language they have the right NOT to serve you..do you know how hard it is not to swear for an hour?

what about home schooling?

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24Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

hifi, tell your mumbo jumbo, freedom of speech, rights and history and forcing kids, to the people who always have something to complain about, it's never ending. What happened in the past is the past, noone can change it, noone can bring it back. That goes for everything. You really think these kids give a damn, I think not. A 10 year old, freaking 10 years old, is complaining about gays and lesbians rights, that kid should be studying for the future,playing sports or choir or doing something KIDS do, not worrying about gays and lesbians. It's people like you that have to start on something that should not even be controversial! Tell me why is it so controversial? Why does it bother you that kids should say the Pledge of Allegiance? In your words, not copy and paste from websites and other peoples opinions, but yours? When you were a kid, did you complain when you stood up and said the Pledge of Allegiance? Did you bit@ch and moan because you had to say it? When is society going to realize it's the Pledge of Allegiance, it's about the United States, It's about honoring the people who sacrifice there lives. Are you not happy here? Do you live each day full of hate for the United States? Do you not have rights? Why not exercise those rights into something productive instead of protesting school kids saying the Pledge of Allegiance. If the police pull you over, do you not have the right to tell him off? And if you did, what would he do? So would you sue him in court over Freedom of Speech? What is so hard about children saying a 30 second pledge? Why do adults have to brainwash these kids? These are the future presidents,senators,congressmen, etc...shouldn't they be taught to respect the United States? Is the President forced to take the Oath of office? If he doesn't then what will happen? It just amazes me how something like the Pledge of Allegiance can be so controversial. God have mercy on us.

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25redvert(2239 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

candystriper, think about your last statement, "what about home schooling?" Somehow I imagine that would be comical to witness! "The apple does not fall far from the tree"

On a side note, I always liked how the ACLU will defend every oddball in this country. Think about it, if the radical factions in this country (for example the radical muslims) were ever to take control of this country what would be the first group of people to be lined up and have their heads chopped off? You got it!

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26candystriper(575 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago


...like how the ACLU represents the KKK?... do the parents get how the kid will be used by different organizations to promote the "hate" agenda?

think about this: the average incoming freshman at YSU was born in 1991 ...

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27Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago


"It's comical that someone that chooses not to recite a pledge to start their day is vilified and told to leave the country."

In memoryof those who served and those who died protecting this mighty country I support the right of the dissenters to pack up, leave and not sabotage America . Emigration gets you out of confinement and allows you not to suffer any bonds to America . Yes, this is a free country and you are free to leave anytime you want to . There is no need to feel oppressed . I'll chip in the first dollar toward your one way ticket .

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28ElPolloRetrasado(212 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Hitler was the best leader of all time, I'm not a Nazi or anything but its true! Oh and F**K you all! If I actually had free speech I could openly say that word but because some book thumping religious nut doesn't say it in public, only behind closed doors, I can be arrested for using it! I think the girl should have stood up and walked her stupid a** to Canuckia, they'll let you in! F*** F*** F*** F*** F***!

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29ElPolloRetrasado(212 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Sorry about the pointless cursing, just kidding f*** you!

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30rocky14(837 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

I served 4 years in the military protecting the rights of people like this girl from Hubbard.She doesn't have to stand for anything.You can't force anyone to be patriotic.

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31Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

And what is this girl protesting? Because, God Forbid, she has to stand up at least? Exactly what is that going to accomplish, do it, and nothing comes out of it. Does someone complain or protest when you get a ticket for not wearing a seat-belt (of course) and if you do, what comes out of it? You still have to pay the fine. your not FORCED to pay the fine, if you don't then you know the consequences, so you do. What don't you get? This is the FUTURE of AMERICA, and you want them to not be patriotic or RESPECT America? Just like the people at games that can't stand up for the Star Spangle Banner, why do they do it? Not to stand up for the rights, but to complain about something! I also served in the United States Navy and if a high school child can't even stand up (and don't even have to say nothing) that is sad! I really hate to see this country when these kids take over it. What is really so hard about standing up? Absolutely nothing but No you people just have to complain about something, your life must really not be a happy one, if your child can't even stand up! Forcing someone, that is pitiful. Stand up for America, especially if you were a ex-military. Amazing you would have those feelings. You must've been one of those soldiers who just hated the world! God help you and your children if you can't stand up for 30 seconds.

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32Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

and also Rocky14, I would LOVE for you to look a veteran of the Wars straight in the eyes and tell him your comment. That would be really interesting.

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33cambridge(4132 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Stan the Man Unusual....Since you seem to be the one that has a problem with the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights maybe you should be the one that should leave the country.

I've read many of your posts that contain racial and bigoted remarks directed toward someones race, nationality or religion and then you wave your flag and proclaim your patriotism. Your a phony that represents the worst of America and nothing of what it's truly about.

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34Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Naw cambridge ,

Our family has done plenty to defend the USA . Those who don't care to defend the USA can pack up and be free to emigrate to any country that they like better . I am a proponet of freedom and don't want to see them oppressed .

Now where can you produce any bigoted remarks that I have left ? I am far from being a bigot . I just don't care for crime and the destruction of our society by anyone .

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35DragonFly664(198 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

When your own leader "crotch" salutes during the Pledge, WHAT does that show the world?? How easy people forget about how hard people have fought to make the USA a place where you do have freedom. Remember "Freedom is NOT free"

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36BIGAL4REAL(8 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

AMERICA, LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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37DragonFly664(198 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

SO Diane I guess its YOUR right to disrespect the Flag and the men and woman in the military??? The ones that fought for your freedom?? The ACLU should be shipped off to some foreign land and never be allowed back, they are the ones that cause the most trouble in EVERYTHING. I am so proud to call you an "American"

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38candystriper(575 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago


To those born in 1991 please pick a real cause like James Meredith did.

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39JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

"The flag has lost it's meaning through overuse."

So have people's opinions.

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40badeepster(124 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Have you seen this girl on facebook?? We don't need the support of people like that

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41smoke3ater(7 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Personally, as a Hubbard taxpayer, I think we all need to step off our soapboxes (as I step on mine for a moment). I agree with both sides on different aspects, but for the people so quick to accuse this student of being lazy or unpatriotic etc., remember like so many others have stated, this country was founded by those who "rebeled". For those who talk of the bloodshed that comes with freedom, would that be the blood of the TRUE americans, or as we have labled them, "Indians"? They are the original inhabitors of this country and we (I use the term we loosly) came and kicked them out like aa bunch of A-holes.
The pledge says "One Nation, Under God" Who's God? The pledge does not say the Christian God. The country is under the power of one man, does this mean the president is God? Someone said they used to recite the pledge slowly so they could understand what it was they were saying....say it a little slower and really pay attention to everything it says. We are Indivisible....REALLY? The nation was pretty divided when a black man ran for president was it not?
With Liberty and Justice for all correct? Well the Christian God says "Let Ye who is without sin cast the first stone". I am not without sin so I cannot cast judgement on this girl...and neither can you.
I for one am proud that she has the courage to stand up for her beliefs, whatever they may be. She will not be a tool(or sheep or lemming or whatever the going phrase is this year). She is a free thinking individual and I think many feel threatened when someone questions what "we" believe in or goes against the grain. And yet that is what founded this country.....Irony, at it's finest.

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42BIGAL4REAL(8 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

how old is this student? if she is under 18, what rights does she really have other than to obey the rules and her parents? Until she turns 18, decides whether or not to join the armed forces, earns a living and purchases her own toilet paper, i'm not real interested in her opinion !

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43andersonathan(687 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Send the parents to jail.

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44Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

"I for one am proud that she has the courage to stand up for her beliefs, whatever they may be."

She doesn't know what they are either . A wasted mind is a terrible thing . I am proud of the fact that she makes the rest of the students look much smarter !

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45ront(119 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

it all comes down to respect for your country. if you disagree with the words to the pledge, at least stand and show some respect. maybe a course in manners should be taught in schools today. manners and respect; a pretty simple concept.

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46Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

"So if you are of the opinion that this student is so terrible and should go live in another country, then you are no better than the terrorists who caused many of our freedoms to be severely reduced after September 11. At least the terrorists knew that their actions would destroy the freedoms of Americans, you are however ignorant of the power of your words."

You are just ramblin on . . .. I don't feel that anyone should be forced to live in America . If they are unhappy they are free to go and find happiness .

The terrorists came here and were unhappy . They chose to leave by suicide and took many others with them . Unhappy minds left to fester cause stupidity and terrorism .

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47shadowman(67 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

"Last time I looked the pervasive mentality of 'If you don't like it move' has done wonders for this region."

"So if you are of the opinion that this student is so terrible and should go live in another country, then you are no better than the terrorists who caused many of our freedoms to be severely reduced after September 11."

"If you don't like it move" is a simple statement that is made because the people in this country have the freedom to do just that. She is free to move if she does not like it here. As for this area, people have left this area, and continue to leave this area because the opportunities that they are looking for are not here. They have the freedom to move if they do not like where they are. How can you fault someone for that? People have the freedom to move from their house if they no longer like it. If someone does not like the city they are living in, they have the freedom to move to another one. If someone does not like the country they are living in, for whatever reason, they have the freedom to do some research and find another country that they may like better. Paulb you compare anyone that tells her she is free to move to another country to a 911 terrorist??? Wow!!! It sounds like a change of scenery might do you some good too.

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48Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

The concept that encompasses freedom of choice is never outdated . This is America ! We don't have machinegun nests and executions forcing people to live here .

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49TB(1167 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

the bill of rights?

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