NEEDVILLE, Texas -- Mason Michalec says he loves his country but just not the government.
“I’m really tired of our government taking advantage of us,” said Michalec. “I don’t agree with the NSA spying on us. And I don’t agree with any of those Internet laws.”
That's why he's taken a pledge of sorts to not say the Pledge of Allegiance with classmates.
“I’ve basically said it from the time I was in kindergarten to earlier this year and that’s when I decided I was done saying it.”
For the most this year, his silent protest has gone unnoticed. But on Wednesday, when a different teacher observed it for the very first time, the Needville High School sophomore ran into trouble.
“And she told me this is my classroom," said Michalec. "This is the principal’s request. You’re going to stand. And I still didn’t stand and she said she was going to write me up.”
Michalec says the principal sentenced him to two days of in school suspension, and warned that he could face more ISS if his protest continued.
It’s a consequence the 15-year-old seems prepared to face.
“And I think it’s time that people do something for themselves and stop taking whatever’s handed to them," said Michalec. "I’m angry and frustrated and annoyed that they would try to write me up for something I have the right to do.”
According to KHOU 11 News legal expert attorney Gerald Treece, the sanctions imposed by the school appear to violate Michalec’s first amendment rights.
Officials with the school district could not be reached for comment