11-year-old arrested after refusing to stand for pledge

An 11-year-old boy was arrested following a confrontation at school over his refusal to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, which he reportedly called racist against black people.

The Florida boy was charged with disrupting a school function and resisting arrest without violence on Feb. 4 after allegedly threatening his substitute teacher at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland following an argument, Patch reported.

“The student became disruptive and the teacher contacted school administrators for assistance,” Kyle Kennedy, a spokesman for Polk County Public Schools, told the news outlet. “The school’s resource deputy also became involved.”

Kennedy added that students are not required to stand for the pledge, which he said the teacher was apparently not aware of. She will no longer be employed at any of Polk County’s schools, he said.

A Lakeland police spokesman confirmed the charges against the boy to HuffPost but declined to provide a copy of the arrest report because of his age.

According to local station Bay News 9, which obtained a copy of the report, the sixth-grader called the American flag racist and the national anthem offensive to black people.

The teacher asked him: “Why if it was so bad here he did not go to another place to live.”

He replied: “They brought me here.”

She then suggested that he “can always go back.”

The teacher reportedly said she called the school’s office because she “did not want to continue dealing with him.” A school resource officer then placed him under arrest after he refused to follow multiple commands.

He was taken to a juvenile detention center and suspended for three days, Bay News 9 reported.

The boy’s mother, Dhakira Talbot, has meanwhile spoken out against the teacher’s behavior and has insisted that the charges against him be dropped.

“She was wrong. She was way out of place,” she told Bay News 9. “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.”

Similar demonstrations of refusing to stand during the national anthem have become increasingly common, particularly since then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee during the anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality and racial injustice in the United States.

Kaepernick reached a settlement with the National Football League on Friday after accusing team owners of colluding to keep him from playing because of his silent protest.

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Fans show support for Colin Kaepernick
Sep 12, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; A San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (not pictured) fan holds a sign after the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Levi's Stadium. The 49ers won 28-0. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
At the start of the game protestors take a knee in support of the movement started by NFL player Colin Kaepernick, outside Lincoln Financial Field, in South Philadelphia, PA, on September 24, 2017. Similar protest are staged around the nation after US President Donald Trump named Kaepernick a Son of A Bitch at a recent rally. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
At the start of the game protestors take a knee in support of the movement started by NFL player Colin Kaepernick, outside Lincoln Financial Field, in South Philadelphia, PA, on September 24, 2017. Similar protest are staged around the nation after US President Donald Trump named Kaepernick a Son of A Bitch at a recent rally. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, USA - SEPTEMBER 10: Protesters stage a rally against the National Football League (NFL), supporting Colin Kaepernick, outside the Soldier Field stadium in Chicago, United States on September 10, 2017. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - AUGUST 23 : People participate in a rally against the National Football League (NFL), supporting Colin Kaepernick in Manhattan borough of New York, United States on August 23, 2017. (Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
01 September 2016: A fan supports San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the NFL preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 01: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers signs autographs for fans after a 31-21 win over the San Diego Chargers during a preseason game at Qualcomm Stadium on September 1, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Sep 25, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) shoots a selfie with fans outside the locker room during pre game warmups against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 01: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers signs autographs for fans after a 31-21 win over the San Diego Chargers during a preseason game at Qualcomm Stadium on September 1, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers signs an autograph for a fan prior to playing the Los Angeles Rams in their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 04: A fan dressed up as Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers watches from the seats during the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 4, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the 49ers 26-6. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 16: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers interacts with fans before the game against the Buffalo Bills on October 16, 2016 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo defeats San Francisco 45-16. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
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