Child arrested after refusing to stand for US Pledge of Allegiance

us flag
The boy also told his teacher the US flag "is racist and the national anthem is offensive to black people". Photo credit: Getty

A Florida child has been arrested and charged after refusing to stand for the US Pledge of Allegiance.

Local media reported the 11-year-old not only refused to stand, but also told his teacher the US flag "is racist and the national anthem is offensive to black people".

The substitute teacher told the boy to leave the class at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland, reported Bay News 9. She then called law enforcement when he wouldn't obey.

The sixth-grader was arrested and taken to a juvenile detention centre, and has been charged with disrupting a school function and resisting arrest without violence, and suspended from school for three days.

The teacher reportedly claimed the boy threatened to get her fired, which he denied.

"I'm upset, I'm angry, I'm hurt," the boy's mother Dhakira Talbot told Bay News 9.

"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."

The 11-year-old reportedly never stands for the Pledge of Allegiance, in which US citizens "pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all".

The schools told media students aren't actually required to stand for the pledge, but the substitute teacher wasn't aware of this.

Ms Talbot said the teacher was "way out of place".

The department which looks after schools in the county said the teacher won't be hired for any more substitute jobs.

Refusal to stand for patriotic songs and events has become an increasingly common form of protest in the US in recent years, a trend arguably started by former NFL star Colin Kaepernick.


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