A Northern California high school student says he is being punished for dropping “under God'' from the Pledge of Allegiance.
Derek Giardina of Tracy says he omitted “under God'' while leading the school during morning announcements because he isn't religious.
The 17-year-old West High School senior says he was assigned the duty in his speech class, and now he is receiving a failing grade.
As an American, Giardina felt he should be allowed to recite the Pledge so that it makes him comfortable, the student told a Sacramento TV station.
Tracy Unified School District spokesman Sam Strube says they ask all students to recite the traditional version when leading 2,000 students.
He says Giardina could have chosen another assignment.
Giardina says the alternative was more work, and if he is asked again, he'll make the same decision.