Florida boy, 11, arrested after incident over refusing to say ‘racist’ Pledge of Allegiance

Florida boy arrested over 'racist' Pledge of Allegiance
Dhakira Talbot is angry that her son was suspended from school for causing a disruption over the Pledge of Allegiance.

The mom of an 11-year-old boy from Polk County, Florida, who was suspended from school after causing a classroom disruption over the Pledge of Allegiance is upset that her son was arrested for allegedly threatening a teacher.

“I’m upset, I’m angry. I’m hurt,” Dhakira Talbot told Spectrum 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.”

Boy Says Pledge of Allegiance Is Racist

Authorities say that on February 4, Talbot’s son refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland, Florida. The boy claimed the Pledge of Allegiance was “racist” against black people.

The substitute teacher on duty reportedly asked the boy if it’s so bad here in the United States, why didn’t he move to another place. The teacher says the boy replied, “They brought me here.”

The substitute teacher then replied: “Well, you can always go back. I came here from Cuba, and the day I feel I’m not welcome here anymore I would find another place to live. Then I had to call the office because I did not want to continue dealing with him.”

Arrest Report: Boy Threatened Teacher

According to the arrest affidavit, the student was arrested by the school resource officer because he refused to follow multiple commands, repeatedly called school authorities racist, and threatened to beat up the substitute teacher and get the school resource officer and the principal fired.

The boy was then suspended from school for three days.

Dhakira Talbot says the substitute teacher was out of line.

“She was way out of place,” Talbot said. “If she felt like there was an issue with my son not standing for the flag, she should’ve resolved that in a way different manner than she did. 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.”

A rep for the school district said students are not required to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, but the substitute teacher was not aware of this. The rep says the substitute teacher no longer works for the school district.

Check Out These Patriotic Kids

While some kids consider the Pledge of Allegiance racist, others are proud to salute it:

Vietnam War veteran Calvin Bunnell says if you don’t like the American flag or the Pledge of Allegiance, he will help you pack to leave the United States.

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Samantha Chang

Samantha Chang

Samantha Chang is a financial editor who writes about politics at BizPac Review and about business at CCN. She is a law school graduate and an alum of the University of Pennsylvania who enjoys finance, flowers, and fitness. You can follow her on Twitter at @Samantha_Chang.
Samantha Chang

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