Lisa Broadbent Case Brief Citation: West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette. Supreme Court of the United States, 1943. 319 U.S. 624, 63 S. Ct. 1178. Topic: The Pledge of Allegiance Relief Sought: Citizens of West Virginia requested that Jehovah’s Witness students not be required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Issues: Should Jehovah’s Witness students be required to salute the flag? Does it create disruption for Jehovah’s Witnesses to refuse to salute the flag? Facts: In 1942, the Board of Education required all students to say the pledge. Students refusing to do so risked suspension until they agreed to comply with participating in the pledge. Walter Barnette and others brought the case, believing this law should not apply to Jehovah’s Witnesses because reciting the pledge was against their religious beliefs. Finding of the Court: The Supreme Court found in favor of Barnette stating that requiring anyone to say the pledge is violating freedom of speech. Anyone (not just Jehovah’s Witnesses) have the right to decline participation in a manner that is not disruptive. This ruling overruled the 1940 case of Minersville School District v. Gobitis, which was a similar case involving Jehovah’s Witnesses. Reasoning: The first amendment gives individuals freedom of speech. Forcing students to say the pledge violates these rights. Students respectfully declining participation of the pledge are not infringing on the rights of others who choose to participate. The fact that the case revolved around Jehovah’s Witnesses was not extremely significant because the court’s decision was based on freedom of speech for all as opposed to freedom of religion for Jehovah’s Witnesses.