LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — A Florida sixth-grader faces charges of disrupting a school function and resisting arrest after a confrontation that followed his refusal to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
In a statement, Lakeland Police say a school resource officer was alerted to a disturbance created by a student in the classroom at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy on Feb. 4.
According to police, the student initially refused to leave the room, continued to be disruptive and made threats while being escorted to the school’s office by the officer and the school’s dean.
The statement says the student was charged based on his failure to comply with the officer’s and the dean’s orders, not his refusal to participate in the pledge. Polk County students aren’t required to stand for the pledge.
This is outrageous.
Students do not lose their First Amendment rights when they enter the schoolhouse gates. This is a prime example of the over-policing of Black students in school. https://t.co/cSkzWcm33Q
— ACLU of Florida (@ACLUFL) February 16, 2019