Student receives lower grade for sitting during Pledge of Allegiance

A student's refusal to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance has sparked controversy at her California school.

KXTV reports that Lower Lake High School student Leilani Thomas says she has been sitting during the pledge since the second grade to protest injustices against her Native American people.

However, for the first time, a teacher has penalized her for the action by lowering her participation grade.

The teen has been quoted as saying about the teacher, "She says that it represents the military and that they risked their lives for us. And I always tell her, 'Well, my people risked our lives for our land, for our freedom. For our rights.'"

The school's superintendent Donna Becnel has since defended Thomas, citing students' rights to free speech.

Thomas and a classmate, who had also refused to stand during the pledge, have been transferred to another teacher.

According to KXTV, "Leilani [Thomas] says she will continue to sit and is getting support from many of her classmates."

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