Palm Beach Student's Rights Upheld by 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Pledge of Allegiance Case

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
July 23, 2008 12:00 am

ACLU Affiliate
ACLU of Florida
Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida today claimed victory in its federal lawsuit, Cameron Frazier v. Cynthia Alexandre et al, as the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier District Court decision preventing a Palm Beach County school from requiring a student from standing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The court left the decision that Cameron Frazier’s rights were violated untouched while leaving the door open for additional lawsuits by refusing to rule on the statute as it applies across the board to all students.

“This is a victory for Cameron Frazier, and based on this ruling it is unimaginable that any Florida school district could punish a high school student for refusing to stand for the pledge,” said Randall Marshall, ACLU of Florida Legal Director. “Any school district in Florida that requires a student to stand and recite the pledge, and punishes them for not doing so, will be inviting litigation.”

The case was originally filed by the ACLU of Florida on behalf of Palm Beach student Cameron Frazier who was punished and publicly ridiculed by his Palm Beach teacher, Cynthia Alexandre, in 2005 when he respectfully declined to stand for the pledge because of his personal political beliefs and convictions. In June 2006, U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp declared Florida Statute 1003.44(1) and the school district’s policy unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Frazier was seventeen years of age and a student at Boynton Beach Community High School when the case was filed in 2005. James K. Green, Esq. and Randall C. Marshall, Esq. were co-counsel for Cameron Frazier v. Cynthia Alexandre et al.

A copy of the 11th Circuit decision can be downloaded in PDF format at:

Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.

Learn More About the Issues in This Press Release