February 2012

Oregonians Stranded in Libya Return, But No-Fly List Continues Rapid Growth

By Ben Bronner, Volunteer

The ever-growing no-fly list continues to take its toll on American citizens. Its latest victims are Oregon residents Jamal Tarhuni and Mustafa Elogbi. While Tarhuni and Elogbi were traveling separately, their stories share many similarities. Both men traveled to Libya in the fall. Both attempted to return to the United States in January but were not allowed to do so. And both report being interrogated about their religious beliefs and Libyan contacts at the behest of the US government. It’s cases like these that illustrate the importance of the ACLU’s ongoing efforts to increase the transparency of the no-fly list and the policies surrounding it.

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Students Not Required to Participate in the Pledge of Allegiance

By Emily Garber

FlagReciting the Pledge of Allegiance during morning announcements is just part of the school-day routine for many students. Yet, for other students, the choice to remain seated and silent during the Pledge is an important exercise of their rights to freedom of speech and religion. Jeff Mason, a fifth grade teacher at Highland Elementary School in Reedsport, Oregon, battled for his students’ right to remain respectfully seated during the Pledge for twelve long years before he called the ACLU of Oregon. Although federal law, Oregon law, and Reedsport School District policy all prohibit compelling public school students to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance, faculty and staff members at Highland Elementary School routinely forced their students to stand during the daily recitation of the Pledge, singling out students for public embarrassment if they attempted to invoke their right to remain seated.

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