Teacher on Leave Over Reaction to Student's Pledge Protest

'The teacher consultant comes up behind me and snatches me out of my chair'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2017 11:26 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Michigan teacher is on leave over allegations she got physical with a sixth-grade student over his refusal to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, the Detroit News reports. In a Facebook post, Brian Chaney says his son Stone was "violently snatched from his chair" by a teacher Sept. 7 at East Middle School in Farmington. "The teacher consultant comes up behind me and snatches me out of my chair violently," the 11-year-old tells Click on Detroit. "I was so confused. I didn't know what was going on." Stone tells the Detroit Free Press he was yelled at by a different teacher when he again refused to stand for the pledge the following day. Both incidents happened during his first week at East Middle School, and he says he doesn't feel safe going back. Chaney is considering moving his son to a new school.

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The teacher who allegedly pulled Stone from his chair has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation is underway. "The district fully supports the right of each student to participate or not in the daily pledge." superintendent George Heitsch says in a statement. He adds to WXYZ: "We're disappointed that we're even having the conversation." Stone says he hasn't stood for the Pledge of Allegiance since second grade, inspired by his father's similar protest. "I don't pledge to a flag," Stone tells Click on Detroit. "I pledge to God and family." Chaney says his son's protest of the pledge has never been a problem in the past. Now he's accusing East Middle School of violating Stone's civil rights. “We just have our reasons [for protesting]," Chaney tells the News. "And those reasons are our right.” (Read more Pledge of Allegiance stories.)

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