Congratulations to the Gazette, whose editorial, "Don't Stand for Pledge Harassment," about our client, Enidris Suirano-Rodriguez, won the Local Media Association's "Best Editorial Writing" contest and was runner-up in The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors Golden Quill contest.
The editorial supported Enidris Suirano-Rodriguez's refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance due to her disapproval of U.S. policies towards Puerto Rico, where her family is from. Her free speech is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, state law, and Montgomery County School System's Regulations, which give students the right to opt out of saying the Pledge of Allegiance. With the help of our supporters, like the Gazette, the ACLU of Maryland was able to meet with the school system and ensure that teachers and administrators were educated about student rights and the Pledge of Allegiance.
One of the judges who reviewed the editorial, for the "Golden Quill Award," said: "[Assistant Managing Editor Andrew] Schotz makes an eloquent argument on behalf of a student harassed and punished for refusing to cite the Pledge of Allegiance in class. Precedent holds that she damn well doesn't have to, a right guaranteed by a 70-year-old U.S. Supreme Court ruling. A powerful reminder of a right we all have that's often abused by the ignorant. Why aren't aspiring teachers taught relevant law so as not to be so ignorant about student rights."
Read the award-winning article: http://www.gazette.net/article/20130417/OPINION/130419117&template=gazette
The Local Media Association Awards: http://www.suburban-news.org/portals/3/downloads/contests/winners/2013ED...
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editor's Golden Quill Award: http://www.iswne.org/contests/golden_quill/