MI teacher assaults student for not standing during pledge

Faith Castro
September 17, 2017

A teacher in eastern MI has been placed on administrative leave after she was accused of "violently snatching" a sixth-grade student from his chair as he stayed seated for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The alleged incident happened last week at East Middle School, along Middle Belt Road between 10 Mile and 11 Mile roads.

Brian Chaney, a parent in the district, said in a post on his Facebook page that his son Stone was "violently snatched from his chair for not standing for the Pledge of Allegiance" at school September 7.

According to Stone, another teacher yelled at him for sitting during the pledge the next day. Stone, a sixth-grader, said he doesn't want to go back to East.

"My wife and I, my father-in-law, my parents, my entire family - we've shed many, many emotions in the last four or five days", he said.

Stone Chaney, 11, says he's been choosing to sit for the Pledge of Allegiance since 2nd grade.

The superintendent of Farmington Public Schools released a statement to WDIV saying the incident is under investigation and respected Stone's decision. The boy does not believe in pledging to the flag.

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"If they're fighting for freedom, they're fighting for us to have choices", Brian Chaney said.

Heitsch said the district supports each student's right to decide whether to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance.

We need a mandatory in-service day for all public school teachers on this subject, during which they learn what authority the school has and what rights the students have on a wide range of subjects.

"It's his choice to sit, I don't make him sit". He said his son is a "hero" for standing up for what he believes. He said people have asked him in the past about hsi decision not to stand but has never had an issue - until now. "We thought our son would be in nurturing hands", he said. Brian Chaney praised his son's ability to walk to his "own beat".

Stone was asked what he would say to those who are critical of people who don't stand during the pledge.

Stone said he was concerned about his three younger brothers and hopes they do not face the same treatment.

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