- The Washington Times - Friday, September 15, 2017

A Michigan middle school teacher is on administrative leave after she was accused of “violently” snatching a boy out of his seat because he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Stone Chaney, a 6th-grader at East Middle School in Farmington Hills, told a local NBC affiliate that the teacher in his homeroom class walked up behind him on Sept. 7 and “violently” tried to force him to stand for the pledge.

“I was so confused. I didn’t know what was going on,” he said.

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The next day, Stone said, a different teacher berated him for sitting down for the pledge.

Stone said he’s been sitting out the pledge since the second grade, telling NBC that he doesn’t pledge to a flag, but to God and his family.

“I don’t feel safe going to that school anymore, because I don’t know what they’re going to do to me next,” he said.

His father, Brian Chaney, said they’ve never run into an issue until now. He spoke out on the issue during the last board meeting for Farmington Public Schools.

“It’s his choice to sit. I don’t make him sit. It’s his choice and they should respect that,” Mr. Chaney said.

He said his son’s civil rights have been violated.

Officials for the district said Friday that the teacher is on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

“Farmington Public Schools offers every student the opportunity each day to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance,” George Heitsch, the district’s superintendent said in a statement, The Detroit News reported. “The District fully supports the right of each student to participate or not in the daily Pledge.

“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,” he said. “At Farmington Public Schools, we expect every child and adult in our district to be treated with dignity and respect. At this time, the District cannot speculate about the outcome of the pending investigation. We assure our parents and families that when any situation like this occurs, we remain committed to providing an education of excellence to every student.”

Meanwhile, Stone hasn’t returned to class and his family is contemplating pulling him out of the school district.

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