11-year-old arrested after refusing to participate in Pledge of Allegiance

Elias Hubbard
Февраля 18, 2019

The student, who usually does not stand for the pledge, replied that he would not participate in the Pledge of Allegiance because he believed the American flag is racist and the national anthem is offensive towards black people.

According to a statement substitute teacher Ana Alvarez gave to the Polk School District, she then asked the boy, "Why if it was so bad here he did not go to another place to live?".

According to a statement from Alvarez, the teacher called the district office after not wanting to deal with the student.

"Suspend me! I don't care".

On Sunday, February 17, Lakeland Police shared a release on the incident on Twitter.

The unnamed boy's mother, Dhakira Talbot, is demanding the misdemeanor charges be dropped, reported WHDH Monday.

He has been charged with disrupting a school function and resisting arrest without being violent, both misdemeanors.

The boy, a student at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland was charged with disrupting a school function and resisting arrest without violence in relation to the February 4 incident according to Bay News 9.

The student's mother, Dhakira Talbot, was upset and said her son is a gifted student who has endured bullying on end at the school.

Police say the student eventually left the classroom and created another disturbance, making threats while he was escorted to the office at the school. I'm hurt. More so for my son.

'My son has never been through anything like this.

'I feel like this should've been handled differently.

The Ledger reports Alvarez will "no longer serve as a substitute" in the school district, and that PCPS plans to review how substitute teachers are trained with the outside agency that provides them, Kelly Services. 'If any disciplinary action should've been taken, it should've been with the school. He was transported to the Polk County Juvenile Assessment Center. He told the Ledger that students are not required to participate in the pledge. In fact, the Supreme Court ruled in 1943 in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette that schools can not require students to salute the flag or recite the pledge, citing First Amendment rights.

Similar demonstrations of refusing to stand during the national anthem have become increasingly common, particularly since then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee during the anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality and racial injustice in the United States.

(L-R) Kevin Flynn, Brooke Zumwalt and Joseph Miller, fourth grade students at Longstreth Elementary School pledge allegiance to the flag March 24, 2004 in Warminster, Pennsylvania. The spokeswoman said the substitute teacher won't be able to work at any of the district's schools, and the district is still looking into the matter.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article