Article Title

Freedom from Compulsion


Tess Slattery


A recent Eleventh Circuit case, Frazier ex rel. Frazier v. Winn, upheld as facially constitutional a Florida statute that requires a student to obtain parental permission before abstaining from participation in the Pledge of Allegiance. This note argues that the court reached the wrong conclusion because it failed to properly weigh the students' right to free speech against the parents' right to control the upbringing of their children. This note argues that Justice Breyer's framework for balancing conflicting rights should be adopted for use in this context. By applying Justice Breyer's balancing test, the Florida statute should be found to be unconstitutional because the requirement of parental permission to refrain from participation in the Pledge of Allegiance is a substantial interference with a student's First Amendment rights while there is minimal interference with parental control by allowing students to choose for themselves whether or not to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance.