6th grader says rights violated when forced to stand for Pledge


A sixth-grader in MI says he was "violently" pulled from his chair by his homeroom teacher when he chose to sit down during the pledge of allegiance.

"I have three younger brothers and hope it never happens to them, nobody in East (middle school)". And in this particular case, a black sixth-grader out of MI says he was assaulted by his homeroom teacher all because he was exercising his rights and declined to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. Another teacher ridiculed and yelled at him for freely deciding to sit during the pledge the following day.

"God said don't worship anything other than me, don't worship any idols, and pledging to a flag would kind of be like worshiping it", he said.

Chaney, who is black, said the choice to quietly sit during the Pledge of Allegiance is one shared by the whole family but that Stone made the decision on his own. "I say I don't stand for the pledge, she just glares at me and walks away", Stone said. "At Farmington Public Schools, we expect every child and adult in our district to be treated with dignity and respect", he said. Brian Chaney could not be immediately reached for comment Friday.

In a statement to the Washington Post, Farmington Public Schools Superintendent George Heitsch said that "leaders have opened an investigation into the incident". "The District fully supports the right of each student to participate or not in the daily Pledge". He said his son is a "hero" for standing up for what he believes.

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What's even more troubling about this situation is that as a teacher's consultant, the person who dragged this child is tasked with training other teachers on how to manage their classrooms. "We thought our son would be in nurturing hands", he said.

"I would love to be able to talk to them and get their side and explain my side so maybe we could come to an understanding", Stevens said.

He began sitting during the pledge when he was a second-grader after visiting his father, a social worker, at the school at which he worked.

Chaney and his wife brought their concerns to the school board, but told reporters they didn't think their concerns were being taken seriously.