Asubstitute teacher had an 11-year-old Black student arrested because he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. The Lawton Chiles Middle Academy student is now facing misdemeanor charges.
According to Bay News 9, on Feb. 4, the student refused to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance, “The student reportedly told the substitute teacher the flag was racist and the national anthem was offensive to Black people.” The substitute teacher complained and the sixth grader was sent to a “juvenile detention center, charged with disrupting a school function and resisting arrest without violence.”
The child’s mother, Dhakira Talbot, said, “I’m upset, I’m angry. 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. If any disciplinary action should’ve been taken, it should’ve been with the school. He shouldn’t have been arrested.” The student is reportedly in gifted classes and has been bullied in the past.
The substitute teacher was of Cuban descent and allegedly said, “Why if it was so bad here he did not go to another place to live?”
He allegedly replied with, “They brought me here.”
She responded by saying, “Well you can always go back, because I came here from Cuba and the day I feel I’m not welcome here anymore I would find another place to live.” The arrest affidavit alleges the student “refused to follow multiple commands, repeatedly called school leaders racist and was disruptive. They said he threatened to get the school resource officer and principal fired and to beat the teacher.”
Talbot explained, “I want the charges dropped and I want the school to be held accountable for what happened because it shouldn’t have been handled the way it was handled.”
Bay News 9 reports, “A spokeswoman with the school district said students aren’t required to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance, but the substitute teacher wasn’t aware of this. The spokeswoman said the substitute teacher will no longer be able to work at any of the district’s schools and the district is still looking into the matter.”
Clearly, if the substitute teacher knew her job and that students are not forced to participate, this wouldn’t have happened. Hopefully, the teacher is properly punished.