An 11-year-old Florida boy was arrested earlier this month after refusing to stand for the pledge of allegiance, reported Fox News.
The confrontation that led to police bringing the boy into custody reportedly began when he refused to stand for the pledge during a school gathering. When confronted by his substitute teacher about his refusal to stand, the boy stated that he would not take part in the act because he viewed the American flag as ‘racist’ toward African Americans.
When the School Resource Officer for the Lawton Chiles Middle Academy stepped in to assist with the situation, the boy allegedly refused to follow commands and repeatedly called teachers and administration members racists. There are also reports that the student said that he would beat the teacher and have the officer as well as multiple members of the administration fired.
His name was not released to the public.
The boy was charged with disrupting a school function as well as resisting arrest in a nonviolent capacity. Both charges are misdemeanors.
The substitute, who is from Cuba, reportedly questioned the boy as to why he did not live elsewhere if it was ‘so bad here.’
The boy responded, saying ‘they brought me here.’
The teacher responded, “I came here from Cuba and the day I feel I’m not welcome here anymore I would find another place to live.”
The student’s mother commented on her son’s arrest.
“I’m upset, I’m angry. I’m hurt,” she said. “More so for my son. My son has never been through anything like this. 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.”
She went on to say, “I want the charges dropped and I want the school to be held accountable for what happened because it shouldn’t have been handled the way it was handled.” She is seeking assistance from the Poor and Minority Justice Association.
A spokesman for the school, Kyle Kennedy, noted that students at the school are not required to participate in the pledge. He declined to comment on the disciplinary action that would follow concerning the student but said that the substitute teacher will no longer be working with the school district.