S. Carolina Sheriff Stands By Deputy Who Asked Student To Stand For Pledge

Do we have enough confidence in ourselves as a nation to ask citizens for their loyalty?

WYFF4 reports that Sheriff Duane Lewis of Berkeley County, South Carolina announced that he does not believe one of his deputies engaged in any wrongdoing when that deputy asked a middle school student to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. Lewis stated that it was "not a police action," or any kind of discipline applied to the student, just a conversation that took place for less than a minute between the student and the deputy. Lewis was careful to add that it was just his "personal opinion" that the deputy had his heart in the right place, adding that "a lot of people have died for our freedom and for the freedom of that flag, and I don't think it's too much to ask that people stand up and recognize it." This incident came to light because the parent of the student complained to the Sheriff's Office, which probably reveals one source of the erosion of patriotism that our nation faces.

Amazing, isn't it, that we now live in a country which lacks confidence in itself to the point that a public official feels he has to walk on eggshells when he expresses his opinion that maybe, just maybe, students might want to respect the Flag? The soul-searching, the hand-wringing, the endless self-criticism has reached a level that would make Mao's Red Guard jealous--and in the deep-red state of South Carolina, no less.

The loss of patriotism in our society, particularly among the young, is an entropic force. Conservatives find themselves in a dilemma when considering how to overcome the inertia of this trend toward disloyalty, a trend which is a violation of the Fifth Commandment, given that nations are basically extended families (per Black's Law Dictionary). Conservatives bind themselves with the chains of the Constitution, while their opponents on the Left do not; worse, too many conservatives acquiesce to the Left's interpretation of that particular document, even though plenty of "illiberal" things were once deemed constitutional at the time they occurred. But then Franklin Delano Roosevelt threatened to "pack" the Supreme Court, and the rest is history.

The "law," as currently interpreted, says students can't be forced to say the Pledge. And the traditional "agents of socialization," such as the media and schools, have been compromised by the Left and offer no assistance in fostering patriotism in our youth.

There is the notion floating around the noosphere that if ten percent of the population fervently believes in a thing, it can "flip" a majority to eventually come to believe that thing. Maybe it's from Malcolm Gladwell--that guy shows up everywhere. Or was that 10,000 hours instead of ten percent? Anyway, if this is true, conservatives can find ways to generate a critical mass that restores patriotism as a virtue in our land, something the Romans called pietas.

One parting tip: a lot of hippie types seem to like the list of "198 methods of non-violent action" found online. There's no reason conservatives can't adapt some of these 198 tactics in service of their own goals--many of us still hold the careful, personal opinion that America is worth fighting for.

Note to those who do not show respect for our flag: I don't believe anyone is handcuffed to the US; if you don't want to honor those living and deceased who have sacrificed for the freedom we all enjoy, then move where you will be happy; it is not likely you will be missed.

Yeah...how dare a kid exercises his First Amendment right..

Of course, this is is South Carolina...where they kind of favor that treasonous Confederate flag anyway....

An awful lot of people suffer under the misconception that any contact by a peace officer is by nature a police action. In fact, the law has addressed this issue numerous times over the years. Just because a man is wearing a police uniform, that does not mean anything he says or does is an official action requiring compliance. He/she is till a citizen in addition with all the rights and privileges of a citizen. As with an citizen representing an employer, however, he/she is going to be constrained in saying or doing things inimical to the employing agency, and if he/she does so... the penalty is administrative.... not legal (though clearly a violation of law takes it beyond merely administrative).

So how do you distinguish when an officer is performing an 'official duty', and when he is merely expressing his opinion on something as a citizen? The answer lies in the concept of 'detention'. A detention occurs when an officer confronts a person because he has a reasonable suspicion that the person has, is in the process of, or is in short order about to commit a violation of law. The distinguishing characteristic of a detention is that the person detained does not have the right to leave, and must comply with all legal directives of the officer. Detentions occur when a cop stops you (such as in a traffic stop, or telling you to 'hold up a minute' or otherwise says something to you that the average person would consider as the cop expressing an interest in what you in particular are doing and creating the impression that you are being investigated about something. Detentions allow the officer to investigate his suspicions further, and perhaps from probable cause for subsequent arrest or citation. Contacts other than detentions are legally referred-to as 'consensual contacts', and are as permissible for the officer as they would be for anyone else. So the question from a legal standpoint would be, is the boy being detained? If he is, what is the legal basis for the detention? Not standing for the Pledge is not a crime. However, a suggestion (or even telling him) to stand is NOT a detention. No crime is being investigated, and the boy is free to leave.... which he would NOT be if he was being detained. If the boy ignored the officer and the officer tried to force compliance... THAT would be a detention (and likely an illegal one that could get the department sued) since not standing is not a crime, but the mere suggestion he stand without an accompanying detention is perfectly acceptable conduct from a legal standpoint. And since the Sheriff supported him, it is clear it was not considered inimical to Departmental purpose for administrative purposes. Clear as mud?

A cop "suggesting" you stand is the same as an order. The cop will then arrest you and make a made-up charge.

I'll stand for the anthem/pledge when Heather Heyer can stand/pledge......

@Abbie_Hoffman a police officer who would abuse their power in such a manner would (and should) be fired. there is nothing wrong with asking or suggesting respect for the flag.
@Paul_Fallavollita I am glad that SCOTUS interpreted the 1st Amendment to say people cannot be forced to say the Pledge. Countries that force patriotism at the point of the gun typically don't stay free for very long.

It is not the cop's place to "suggest" that. That is police harassment as far as I am concerned.

As I would no doubt consider your mere presence at an event I have to attend harassment. Why do you think the cop shouldn't have the same rights as you?