Public schools

High School Called Cops, Homeland Security on Kid Who Said 'ISIS' During Pledge of Allegiance

'Abundance of caution'


This has to be one of the worst school censorship cases in recent memory: A Connecticut high school called the cops on a teenager for allegedly uttering the word "ISIS" during the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI both looked into the incident, which happened before Christmas but is just now being reported by local news. The action was taken out of "an abundance of caution," according to the school.

The student was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing but was removed from classes at Ansonia High School and is now attending alternative schooling, his mother told The Connecticut Post.

Police Lt. Andrew Cota had this to say:

"The Ansonia Police received a complaint from the Ansonia High School Administrators on October 9 of 2015. The SRO completed a report and we forwarded it off to Homeland Security as we would with any case that we feel needs to be brought to their attention. We are no longer investigating this matter. The allegation is that the male was allegedly making pro ISIS statements during the Pledge of Allegiance. As this is a juvenile matter there is no much information there is no other information being released."

I have a hard time imagining that the student actually made pro-ISIS statements, and his mother denies that this was his intention. But so what if he had? Is the student not entitled to basic First Amendment protections?

Here was the police chief's answer to that question:

Ansonia Police Chief Kevin Hale said the matter is closed as far as the department is concerned.

He said a person may have First Amendment rights to free speech and to use the word "ISIS," but that doesnt mean "you can yell 'fire' in a crowded movie theater."

If I had a dollar for every time some overzealous censor cited the patently misused fire-in-a-crowded-theater analogy, well, I would have more than a few dollars.