A Farmington Hills, Michigan, teacher has been accused of assaulting a sixth-grader who sat for the Pledge of Allegiance, as reported by ClickOnDetroit.
Stone Chaney was in his first week at East Middle School when the alleged incident occurred. The Detroit Free Press reports that Chaney said that one teacher “violently” yanked him out of his chair Thursday and another yelled at him the next day for sitting during the Pledge.
Chaney has carried out this silent protest since second grade with no issues, according to the local paper. He claims that he doesn’t pledge to a flag but to God and his family.
“I’m doing this for me, my brothers, everyone across the state, and everyone across the country,” the sixth-grader commented.
Chaney told reporters that his homeroom teacher attempted to force him to stand during the Pledge, which led to the alleged assault.
The Supreme Court ruled in the 1943 case of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette that students cannot be forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance in school. Specifically, the Court held that students are protected by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment when choosing whether or not to recite the Pledge, according to Oyez.
Farmington Hills Superintendent George Heitsch has announced that one of the two unnamed teachers involved in the ordeal has been placed on leave.
“In this particular instance, school leaders began their investigation as soon as they were made aware of the situation, which was the day before the most recent board meeting,” Heitsch said. “The teacher allegedly involved in the incident has been placed on administrative leave pending the conclusion of the investigation.”
Since the incident, Chaney says he no longer feels safe attending the middle school.
“I don’t feel safe going to that school anymore because I don’t know what they’re going to do next,” he said.
The child’s father, Brian Chaney, echoed his son’s sentiments during an interview with the Farmington Voice.
“We are very disappointed that when we dropped our son off at East Middle School. We thought our son would be in nurturing hands,” he said. “What we see on TV, what’s going on in America, it just came to my living room.”
[Featured Image: KDIV/screenshot]