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Sixth Grader Refuses to Stand For Pledge of Allegiance Before He’s Arrested for Calling School Leaders Racist

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A gifted 11-year-old Florida student decided to take a stand, or rather a seat, during the Pledge of Allegiance.

On February 4, the Lawton Chiles Middle Academy sixth-grader refused to stand up for the pledge when his substitute teacher asked him to, Bay News 9 reports.

The student told the substitute teacher the American flag was racist and that the national anthem was offensive to black people.

According to a statement the substitute teacher gave to the district, she then told him:

“Why if it was so bad here he did not go to another place to live?”

The student responded:

“They brought me here.”

The substitute allegedly said back:

“Well you can always go back, because I came here from Cuba and the day I feel I’m not welcome here anymore I would find another place to live.”

After this response, the teacher reportedly called the office because she “did not want to continue dealing with him.”

The arrest affidavit states the student was arrested by the school resource officer because “he refused to follow multiple commands, repeatedly called school leaders racist, and was disruptive.”

Further, it states he allegedly “threatened to get the school resource officer and principal fired and threatened to beat the teacher.”

The 11-year-old was then sent to a juvenile detention center and charged with disrupting a school function and resisting arrest without violence. He was also suspended from his school for three days.

A spokeswoman with the school district explained that students aren’t required to partake in the pledge. Further, the spokeswoman said that the substitute teacher did not realize this.

As a result of this incident, the substitute teacher can no longer work at any of the schools within the district.

According to US Flag, in 1943 the Supreme Court ruled that school children could not be forced to recite it. Further, only 25 of 50 states have laws that encourage participation during the Pledge of Allegiance in the classroom.

Dhakira Talbot, the student’s mom, felt the teacher handled the situation completely wrong:

“She was wrong. She was way out of place. If she felt like there was an issue with my son not standing for the flag, she should’ve resolved that in a way different manner than she did.”

Talbot also said her son is in gifted classes and has been bullied at the school in the past. However, he’s never faced anything like this before.

She said:

“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.”

According to Bay News 9, Talbot is working with the Poor and Minority Justice Association (PMJA) to help resolve the situation.

PMJA is a civil rights origination that campaigns against police brutality, false charges, and false arrest in poor and minority communities.

Talbot’s son maintains that he never threatened the substitute teacher during the altercation.

What do you think?

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  1. SO THEY ARREST AN 11 YEAR OLD BLACK CHILD FOR BEING DISRUPTIVE?!!! GIVING HIM A CRIMINAL RECORD?! THAT IS CRIMINAL IN ITSELF. FLORIDA IS A FUCKING JOKE. FUCK THAT TEACHER, THE SCHOOL, THE PRINCIPAL AND THE COP. THIS IS SUCH BULLSHIT. IM GLAD THE TEACHER WAS FIRED. THEY ALL DESERVE TO BE FIRED. ITS AN 11 YEAR OLD KID!! IF IT WAS A WHITE KID, HE WOULDVE GOTEEN SENT TO ISS.

  2. “If he was white” STFU! Quit making excuses 4 UR kid being a disrespectful little shit! Gifted or not he obviously needs 2 B taught some manners. I don’t believe every adult @ this school is lying on how he acted. Get a life & quit putting UR agendas N UR kids heads! This shit came straight from the parents.

  3. Hey ,Anonymous, evidently you have no interaction with kids in school these days. Some are very disrespectful, arrogant and rebellious. You have no idea the abuse that teachers, administrators and bus drivers have to put with daily. I’d like to see you trade places with one of these teachers for a week. Youd take back your ignorant hateful comments.

  4. Undisciplined parents are the problem with undisciplined children 99% of the time. This parents response proves the point. Blame the authorities and not the abuser. The US has gone to pot!

  5. Actually the problem is that people think Black people or any people are required to violate their conscience and pledge allegiance to any flag. And calling out racism is not disrespectful. Being racist is what is disrespectful.

  6. If you are looking for racism you can find it..you all look for it all the time. If your brat thinks pledging to the flag is racist…go live some place else. You surely have enjoyed all that America has to offer you…i can’t stand hyprocites….you are a bunch of takers….thats all you do is take but want to bite the hand that feeds you…you all disgust most people!!

  7. Why say “black child”? Why not just 11 yr old child? Always, the race card..
    I know a teacher that writes on the bosrd, looking over her shoulder, as some of her grade school students are so violent..Told many times, F___k you..I, couldn’t be a teacher today..I’d probably be arrested for busting some butt..

  8. This f— word was never allowed in my day, the milineals are quickly leading America to a 3rd world country, good bye to America or what ever the new name will be as they’ll say America is offensive to someone add somewhere!

  9. I am sure there is more to the story. Just not standing for the flag probably wasn’t the only thing to trigger the situation. Was the child disruptive times before this? What words were said? Media doesn’t tell everything.

  10. Further, it states he allegedly “threatened to get the school resource officer and principal fired and threatened to beat the teacher.” Enough said.

  11. When I was a child the entire class stood for the pledge of allegiance without a problem. It was unifying. It encouraged and instilled an acknowledgement of our tie to one another, being an American. It’s a new era of; fight all authority, hate whatever is patriotic or good, cause chaos and disfunction wherever you go. His mother thinks he’s some kind of gifted child. Doesn’t sound very gifted to me, sounds more like a future inmate.

  12. During the Vietnam War- yeah I’m that old- I never stood for the Pledge or the Natl Anthem. It was my form of protest for a war I felt was wrong. While many people asked I never had someone berate me, call me names as would happen in this time. We are allowed to protest what we see as injustice and wrong in this country. That being said he was a bit disrespectful and should have been disciplined but not arrested.

  13. When I was a child the entire class stood for the pledge of allegiance without a problem. It was unifying. It encouraged and instilled an acknowledgement of our tie to one another, being an American. It’s a new era of; fight all authority, hate whatever is patriotic or good, cause chaos and disfunction wherever you go. His mother thinks he’s some kind of gifted child. Doesn’t sound very gifted to me, sounds more like a future inmate.

  14. When I was a child the entire class stood for the pledge of allegiance without a problem. It was unifying. It encouraged and instilled an acknowledgement of our tie to one another, being an American. It’s a new era of; fight all authority, hate whatever is patriotic or good, cause chaos and disfunction wherever you go. His mother thinks he’s some kind of gifted child. Doesn’t sound very gifted to me. More like a self centered kid who’s mother is teaching him to not think about how his behavior affects anyone but himself.

  15. Definitely kids are very disrespectful to teachers these days. Regardless of the pledge (although i feel everyone should stand) the child must have gotten very aggressive to have gotten arrested. Schools don’t do that lightly and now a days you have to walk on egg shells when it comes to ethnic individuals.

  16. Aw man. This story started out on such a positive note. Disrespectful little shit gets disciplined for being a disrespectful little shit. But then it turns sour and ends with the teacher being punished. Perhaps Nike can use a new token poster child.

  17. The teacher used poor judgment – but if the child would not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, perhaps his parents should have been notified, and told what the student said. Non-compliance can be a BIG problem in schools, esp. a middle or high school. If the child (and he is definitely that) would not only refuse to conform but give the teacher/resource office/principal a smart mouth, the school is right in punishing him. Disrespect for authority should be curbed. Another thought, however: If everyone in a classroom decided to “do their own thing,” no one would learn anything. Just saying…

  18. You don’t disrupt class. Not to mention its the American flag is not the rebel flag. Its not racist and neither is the pleadge of allegiance. Grow the fuck up people and realize black people are not entitled to anything more than white people and white people aren’t entitled to anything more than black people. Whoever taught this kid to disrespect the country his family wanted him to live in needs to have their assrs kicked and then go back to whatever country they came from. QUIT DISRESPECTING MY FOREFATHERS OR LEAVE!!!!!! SIMPLE AS THAT. DON’T LIKE AMERICA, THEN DON’T FUCKING LIVE HERE!!!!

  19. Now, I am old enough to have been in college during the Vietnam War – and we were allowed to protest – but – with the BIG caveat that we were NOT allowed any violence nor incitement to violence in our protest. We wore black armbands, stood in a circle, and silently protested that terrible war. Our generation felt we were lied to and told untruths about that war. I did NOT hold anything against our fighting men (and woman), but felt they, too, were being used and NOT fully supported by our government in their efforts. NO way did I think they were “baby killers” or at fault for what they were called to do, but were being sent by the “old men” in the government to do their dirty work (while often their own sons escaped the draft!) The difference here is our protest (at least at the small college I attended was 1) not violent, 2) did not incite to violence, 3) was protesting the government’s sending our generation to fight and sometimes die, but with less support and will to carry through (my take on it at least). This student should have been told he had the right to protest, but-should also learn about how this great country has been a refuge for many, and though imperfect, is still the greatest country on earth, in no small part BECAUSE, as a democracy. we have a say in our government. Again, just saying…

  20. I live in FL. This shot is happening all over the state. Most school districts and certainly the State Board of Education have no firm written policies on this and many others “behavioral issues.” So individual schools and teachers are handling these incidents in a haphazard and inconsistent manner. Most states are in the same predicament….PUSSY school administrators caving to I’ll-behaved parents and children. FL has a republican Governor. republican House and Senate, and a republican AG. But, they do not challenge the extreme democratic schools boards with common sense requirements.

    This kid is apparently badly behaved. I am guessing his parents are right at the top of list of his issues. Check the parents “standing” in creating a good life, and I am sure you will see abject failure.

  21. He just wanted to “make a scene” and see “how far he could push the limits”. If he really did not want to participate, he could have asked to go to the office area until it was over. He wanted to be “big and bad”, SO SAD for his future. I’ve been there and regret my actions. He thinks his parents will get him out of anything, but there comes a time when they can’t 😞

  22. As a child, if I had pulled a stunt like this, my teacher would have called the principal (who happened to be my grandmother’s sister) and I would have either gotten a spanking at school by said principal. and then I would have gotten a spanking when I got home! It’s obvious this brat’s parents put the ideas into his head and he ran with it and now the parent(s) are acting all out of sorts? Life is tough. It’s even tougher when you’re stupid.

  23. It sounds to me like they handled the situation just fine and this child has just been brainwashed and became disruptive

  24. Jehovah Witnesses are not required to stand for the anthem or salute the flag for religious reasons. So this student is not the only one who doesn’t stand.

  25. Do you really want children who are not citizens and are only here for a short time because their parents’ work brought them here to indulge in the hypocrisy of saluting the flag?

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