New Jersey school sued over "under God" in pledge
Posted: Apr 21, 2014 12:38 PM EST Updated: Apr 22, 2014 7:49 AM EST
FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) - A family is suing a New Jersey school district, contending that the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is discriminates against atheist children.
The lawsuit against the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District was filed in state court last month and announced Monday by the American Humanist Association. The group says the phrase, added in 1954, "marginalizes atheist and humanist kids as something less than ideal patriots."
The anonymous plaintiffs say those two words violate the state constitution. According to the suit, the humanist group complained to school officials in February, but the district would not change the pledge.
School district lawyer David Rubin says the district is merely following a state law that requires schools to have a daily recitation of the pledge. He says individual students don't have to participate.
The group is awaiting a ruling from a court on a similar case in Massachusetts.