An 11-year-old child was taken into police custody in Florida after refusing to take part in the Pledge of Allegiance during school citing its “racist” past.
The youngster was attending class at the Lawton Chiles Middle Academy where a substitute teacher was filling in for his regular teacher. According to the arrest report, the youngster does not usually stand for the pledge. He identifies as African American and has repeatedly told teachers in the past that he doesn’t want to participate in the activity because its “racist” towards black people.
While the school had seemingly settled the matter by allowing him not to participate, the substitute teacher was unaware of the situation. When he refused to stand up for the pledge, the substitute called him out for it. She reportedly asked the 11-year-old child why he didn’t go to another place to live if it was so bad in America. This prompted a back and forth, in which it was revealed that the substitute had come to America from Cuba. Eventually, the teacher said she “did not want to continue dealing with him,” and simply called the front office.
The 11-year-old became irate and reportedly began to threaten her. He explained, “I’m going to get all of you fired.” The teacher claims the boy threatened to “beat” her, but he is adamantly denying the accusation.
After refusing to comply with the substitute’s commands, the school’s resource officer was called in to defuse the situation. He arrested the youngster and brought him to a nearby juvenile detention center. He is currently being charged with resisting arrest without violence and disrupting a school function. He was also suspended for three days as a result.
A spokeswoman for the school district later confirmed that students do not have to participate in the Pledge, but the substitute teacher was unaware that kids could opt out.