11-year-old boy arrested for refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and his mom is angry
An 11-year-old 6th-grade student of "Lawton Chiles Middle Academy" was arrested on February 4, after reportedly refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, although the police are saying his arrest was due to his refusal to follow commands, disturbance, and disruption.
The young boy’s mother is upset about the development and is making moves for the charges against her son to be dropped.
The arrest was reportedly as a result of a substitute teacher asking the students to stand for the flag. The student in question refused, saying the anthem is racist, and the national pledge of the country is offensive to black people.
The teacher said she asked the student why he did not go elsewhere to live if things were so bad and he responded by telling her “they brought me here.”
She then told him that he could go back because she was from Cuba herself, and the moment the environment gets hostile, she would gladly leave. It was at this point the teacher called for help because she did not want to continue engaging him.
The Dean of Students and School Resource Officer responded to the substitute teacher's call, and they both made several attempts to calm the boy down.
According to the police report, the dean asked the student to leave the classroom over a dozen times, even the resource officer intervened, but he refused.
When the student eventually left the classroom, he caused another scene as he made threats to beat the teacher up and get the principal and resource officer fired after calling them racists.
The student's mother, Dhakira Talbot, said her son has always been bullied and has never acted in such an offensive manner; the incident upsets her. She said:
“I feel like this should’ve been handled differently. If any disciplinary action should've been taken, it should've been with the school. He shouldn't have been arrested.”
Dhakira is working closely with the "Poor and Minority Justice Association," to get the charges brought against her son dropped. She also wants the school to take responsibility for the incident, saying the situation could have been handled better.
Something similar to this case happened to India Landry, 18, in Texas.
In her case, the school expelled her after she refused to stand for the US pledge, and the state of Texas is in support of the decision.
She filed a lawsuit against "Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District," claiming her right to free speech and due process were violated when she was unjustly expelled.
Her revolt was linked to politics and the upcoming elections.
Her lawyer referred to the Texan law that allows parents to tender a letter stating their child will not stand for the pledge. A Supreme court ruling states that it is not mandatory for students to stand during the pledge. India is determined to prove this in her case.
It's clear that the country is divided with regards issues like this, In some schools, such behavior leads to expulsion of the student, in other schools, it leads to dismissal of the teacher.