A Michigan school district suspended a sixth-grade teacher who physically forced a student to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance after the student refused to stand.
Stone Chaney, a sixth-grader at East Middle School in Farmington Hills, Michigan, claims his teacher violated his rights by physically forcing him to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance during the first week of school on September 7.
“The teacher consultant comes up behind me and snatches me out of my chair violently,” Stone said. “I was so confused. I didn't know what was going on.”
Stone alleges a similar thing happened the following day when a different teacher yelled at him for refusing to stand during the Pledge.
“I don't stand because I don't pledge to a flag,” Stone said, insisting that he only pledges to his family and God — but not his country.
Stone’s father, Brian Chaney, insisted that the choice was his son’s and that he doesn’t force his son to show respect for the Pledge by standing. “What we see on the TVs, what’s going on in America, it just came to my living room,” Chaney told The Washington Post. “Tears are done. I’m mad now. We’re looking for accountability.”
Stone has not returned to school as his family is considering relocating him to a different district.
“I don’t feel safe going to that school anymore because I don’t know what they’re going to do to me next,” Stone added.
The superintendent of Farmington Public Schools said in a statement that the teacher in question is on administrative leave while the district investigates the alleged incident.
WDIV received an official statement from George Heitsch, Superintendent of the Farmington Public Schools District, which reads in part:
The District fully supports the right of each student to participate or not in the daily Pledge. The teacher allegedly involved in the incident has been placed on administrative leave. At this time, the District cannot speculate about the outcome of the pending investigation.
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