An 11-year-old student in Lakeland, Florida has been arrested after refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, according to a report from local television network Bay News 9.

The student, who is in sixth grade at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, told substitute teacher Ana Alvarez that he would not be standing for the pledge of allegiance, because the flag is racist and the national anthem is offensive black people.

In a statement, Alvarez then asked the student “Why if it was so bad here he did not go to another place to live[?]“, to which she claims he replied “They brought me here.” She then called the office, whereupon the school resource officer (the school’s on-site cop, a thing they do in America) arrested the student for reportedly refusing to follow commands, calling teachers racist, and being disruptive. According to Alvarez’ statement, the student threatened to beat her, something that both the student and his mother deny took place.

After the student was arrested at the start of the month, we has given three days’ suspension and taken to a juvenile detention centre, according to the Washington Post. According to the Post, he is now facing charges of disruption of a school facility and resisting an officer without violence.

Polk County Public Schools spokesman Kyle Kennedy told The Ledger that the student was arrested for causing a disruption, not for failing to stand for the pledge of allegiance — which students are free to do, thanks to the Supreme Court. Kennedy said that Alvarez was unaware that such was the case and the she would no longer be working as a substitute teacher for Polk County Public Schools.

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