Student kneeling during Pledge of Allegiance told to stand; Mom takes issue

Student kneeling during Pledge of Allegiance told to stand; Mom takes issue
Student kneeling during Pledge of Allegiance told to stand; Mom takes issue
Posted at 1:06 PM, Sep 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-28 23:28:44-04

PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFTS/CNN) - A mother said her son, who's in the first grade, decided to kneel during the Pledge of Allegiance and was asked to stand.

A mother said she wasn't expecting the text she got from her son's teacher: "I knew where he had seen it, but I did tell him that in the classroom we are learning what it means to be a good citizen."

"What that said to me was that him taking a knee was the exact opposite, he was disrespectful of the country, he was being disrespectful of the flag," the mother, who asked not to be named, said.

The mother said she didn't tell her son to do it, but regardless, her issue is how it played out at school.

"She told him right away, based on what he told me, to stand up and stop it. That's not her right," she said.

"It would have been better if the teacher would have pulled the student aside and talked about it without the other students witnessing it," Pasco County Schools office Linda Cobbe said.

Cobbe said the school is following state law. 

"The only way that a student can be exempted from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is if they have a written request from their parent, and even then, the law says that they still have to stand."

Officials said they plan to discuss the policy with parents and staff, and that respect and civility are important.

"We certainly would not want to infringe on anyone's rights, but we have to follow state law," Cobbe said.

The boy's mom hopes everyone will learn from this.

"The bigger issue is cultural. They have demonstrated to me through multiple incidents that they don't take inclusion and diversity serious," she said.

Neither the student nor the teacher faced disciplinary action for the incident.

Copyright 2017 WFTS via CNN. All rights reserved.

MOBILE USERS: Download our WTXL news app on your Apple and Android devices for the latest from South Georgia and North Florida. Also, download our WTXL Weather Now app for Apple and Android devices to get the latest local weather wherever you go. 

Copyright 2017 WTXL via Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.