11 year-old arrested for being smarter than adults

When your institutions and authorities prove their own racism.

Pledge of Allegiance back in the good old days. Today’s hand over heart totally not less disturbing.

There’s always another side to every story. But why did this one even take place?

An excerpt from the story followed by my comments:

The incident started when a substitute teacher asked the student to stand up for the pledge.

Why is the Pledge of Allegiance even a thing anymore? It was just a marketing gimmick to sell flags.

The student reportedly told the substitute teacher the flag was racist and the national anthem was offensive to black people.

The student was essentially correct. The third verse of the Star-Spangled Banner is literally a celebration of the Flag waving in triumph over slaves who tried to free themselves but failed. Yes, there’s “what about” all the black singers who’ve sung the first verse of the National Anthem at big events for decades. That’s their business, and this student isn’t wrong.

In a statement to the district, the substitute teacher reported telling the 11-year-old boy “Why if it was so bad here he did not go to another place to live.” She said he then said, “they brought me here.”
She said she replied by saying, “Well you can always go back, because I came here from Cuba and the day I feel I’m not welcome here anymore I would find another place to live.”

Every time someone says, “If you don’t like it here, leave” you’ve lost the argument with an adult. Finding another place to live is a lot to ask as far as travel expenses and legal processing for anyone, let alone a child.

She wrote, “Then I had to call the office because I did not want to continue dealing with him.”

She lost a debate with a child she’s supposed to teach, and called for help. She unfortunately escalated the situation, but I wouldn’t blame her for what happened next.

The story picks up here:

After the confrontation began, the school’s dean of students tried unsuccessfully to calm the student down, asking him to leave the class 20 times, police said.

But what, exactly, did he do? He didn’t disrupt the class, the substitute teacher did by making an issue of his not standing up for the Pledge. And then this Dean disrupted it for what, telling the child he’s in trouble for telling the truth? He shouldn’t have had to leave. He didn’t do anything wrong. He shouldn’t have been in trouble for giving his classmates an accurate lesson in history.

“The school resource officer [cop] then intervened and asked the student to exit the classroom and he refused,” the department said. “The student left the classroom and created another disturbance and made threats while he was escorted to the office.”
According to Bay News 9, the student denied making threats.

His threats, if there were any, were not serious and he knew that the authorities knew it. The student would have no means or opportunity.

The Lakeland Police Department said in a statement that the boy was not arrested for refusing to stand for or recite the Pledge of Allegiance. “This arrest was based on the student’s choice to disrupt the classroom, make threats and resisting the officer’s efforts to leave the classroom.”

His only “disruption of the classroom” was not refusing to stand, or was engaging in debate with the teacher who herself disrupted the classroom by demanding he stand.

No allegation has been made that the student actually physically attacked fellow students, teachers, administrators, or the cop/resource officer. No allegation that he brought a weapon to school. He was arrested because they were unable to talk to him. I thought they all had to go through years of college education and certification to know how to talk to a child. All of them failed.

I want the charges dropped and I want the school to be held accountable for what happened because it shouldn’t have been handled the way it was handled,” Talbot [the student’s mother] said.

As for what I know now, she is correct. Why did this all happen? from this:

A Polk County Public Schools public relations specialist tells Yahoo Lifestyle that students are not required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The district handbook states that kids can opt out “upon written authorization from parent.”

Maybe the student did have the written authorization and the substitute teacher didn’t know it, or maybe he didn’t. Let’s say he didn’t and was just being sassy with a substitute teacher and it got out of hand. He was still within his rights to not stand. Every step of the way, the adults escalated it. Everyone reading this knows he was within his rights. Every public school teacher reading this knows he’s within his rights.

An 11 year-old student, by every inference an African-American, was arrested by police for talking back to a teacher and holding his ground over his refusal to participate in a pledge which we all know he was well within his human and Constitutional rights to refuse to participate in.

His arrest proved his point.

An 11 year-old. African-American.


James Leroy Wilson writes from Nebraska. He is the author of Ron Paul is a Nut (And So am I). Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Support through Paypal is greatly appreciated.