- Associated Press - Friday, September 15, 2017

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (AP) - A Detroit-area teacher is on leave after an 11-year-old boy said he was physically forced out of his chair during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Stone Chaney, a sixth-grader in the Farmington district, said he makes a pledge to God and family - not a flag - and has skipped participation since second grade.

He said he was doing homework during the pledge on Sept. 7 when a teacher at East Middle School “snatched” him out of his chair.

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“I told the lady that I don’t stand for the pledge and she just kind of glared at me. … I was confused when it happened because I didn’t know what was going on. And then I was irritated because that’s not supposed to happen,” Stone said.

He said another teacher the next day yelled at him to stand up.

Superintendent George Heitsch said one teacher has been placed on leave while the district investigates. He said students have the right to skip the Pledge of Allegiance.

The district expects every child and adult “to be treated with dignity and respect,” Heitsch said.

Stone said he stopped participating in second grade after seeing his father, who works in the Pontiac school district, sit during the pledge. Brian Chaney praised his son’s ability to walk to his “own beat.”

“I’m looking at my son as a hero. He believes in what he believes in,” Chaney said. “He’s not worried about what other people think of him.”

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