Florida Boy Arrested After Refusing to Stand for Pledge

Florida+Boy+Arrested+After+Refusing+to+Stand+for+Pledge

Kaitlyn Rosa

An 11-year-old boy was arrested in Florida. He refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. That is not the reason he was arrested, though. He was arrested because the situation had escalated into confrontation with school officials. When that did not work, it led to the school having to involve the police.

The unnamed child was charged with disrupting a school function and resisting an officer, reported the Lakeland Police Department.

The confrontation began after the student, who attended Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, claimed the flag to be racist and explained that he found the national anthem to be offensive. The Polk School District provided a statement from the substitute teacher, “Why if it was so bad here he did not go to another place to live?” The boy replied with, “they brought me here,” according to the statement.

The teacher followed up by telling the child he could “always go back,” and proceeded to call the main office at the school. She claimed she did not feel like dealing with the child.

The district did not respond to a request for a comment on Sunday, but a school spokesman told The Ledger, a local newspaper, that students are by all means not required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance if they did not want to. He then went on to say that the substitute was not aware of the policy and will no longer be allowed to work in the district. “The boy should not have been arrested for doing what he believed in. It escalated because of the teacher, not the child,” said Lakewood High School senior Miranda Larimer

The boy’s mother, Dhakira Talbot, disputed the school’s claims. She told NBC News that her son “is not a disrespectful kid.”