Cypress Springs High School student challenges Pledge of Allegiance


by Andrew Horansky / KHOU 11 News

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Updated Thursday, May 24 at 5:21 PM

HOUSTON—Ray Jones says it isn’t the students at Cypress Springs High School who are the bullies, but the teachers.

"It’s very uncomfortable," Jones said. "I’m wondering what they’re going to say next."

He claims teachers have been bothering him during the Pledge of Allegiance, and that the trouble began about a month ago, on a day he jogged to school.

The 17-year-old said he was tired. When asked to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, he did not get up.

"He was tired, dripping with sweat, exhausted," Jones’s mother, LaTonya Ellison, said. "He just, on that particular day, did not feel like standing up."

According to the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, students who do not participate in the Pledge of Allegiance are expected to stand, unless a parent has contacted the school regarding this practice being in conflict with their religious beliefs.

Ellison admits she never wrote a note.

The mother and son said they don’t take issue with the school’s policy, or with the Pledge, but with how the teachers handled it.

"Instead of being asked what was wrong, because that was totally out of character for him, it was assumed that he was being unpatriotic—and that is not what it was about at all," Ellison said.

What began as a bad day has become a bad month. Though the mother has now written a note excusing her son from the Pledge, she said some teachers have continued to single him out in class for his choice.