Stone Chaney just started the sixth grade at East Middle School in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

However, his first days at school got off to a rough start when a teacher assaulted the 11-year-old when he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

According to WJBK, Chaney has chosen to sit for the Pledge since the second grade. And while people have questioned his decision in the past, they have never laid a hand on him, nor had an issue with it. Until now.

Screenshot/WJBK

Chaney recalled the incident:

“A teacher just comes up, puts her arms under my armpits and snatches me out of my chair. I say I don’t stand for the pledge, she just glares at me and walks away. I just feel like my rights were violated. And she was the teacher consultant; the person who teaches other people not to put their hands on students. So who knows what other teachers she’s taught her way of thinking.”

The situation escalated further when a substitute teacher presided over the class the next morning. She drove the former teacher’s point home when she ordered him to stand. She also told him he’d need a “special note to be allowed to sit.”

Chaney cited God as the driving force for his decision to remain seated. He said:

“God said don’t worship anything other than me, don’t worship any idols, and pledging to a flag would kind of be like worshiping it. It’s not if I have a reason or not, it’s my right.”

Screenshot/WJBK

Since the incident, both teachers have been placed on administrative leave.

Chaney’s parents, however, are proud of his steadfastness. His father, Brian Chaney, declared that he’s:

“Very proud of my son. He’s a national hero right now.”

His mother, Phillina Mullin, is more concerned with the fact that a teacher laid hands on her son. She said:

“One of the main issues we’re having a problem with is the fact that an adult felt the need to put their hands on my child.”

In a statement, the superintendent of Farmington schools sided with Chaney. They said:

Farmington Public Schools offers every student the opportunity each day to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. The District fully supports the right of each student to participate or not in the daily Pledge.

In this particular instance, school leaders began their investigation as soon as they were made aware of the situation, which was the day before the most recent Board meeting. The teacher allegedly involved in the incident has been placed on administrative leave pending the conclusion of the investigation.

At Farmington Public Schools, we expect every child and adult in our district to be treated with dignity and respect. At this time, the District cannot speculate about the outcome of the pending investigation.

We assure our parents and families that when any situation like this occurs, we remain committed to providing an education of excellence to every student.

Dr. George C. Heitsch
Superintendent
Farmington Public Schools

Chaney, however, hopes that no one else has their rights violated as he did. While he will likely not be returning to East Middle School, he hopes that this, “never happens to [my three younger brothers], nobody in East [middle school]. Nobody in Michigan, nobody all over the country.”

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