Pledge controversy leads to middle school arrest in Lakeland
- A Florida 6th-grader called the Pledge of Allegiance ‘racist.’ Then he got arrested. - Miami Herald
Excerpt: Dhakira Talbot is shocked that her 6th grade son was arrested in school after he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Police say the 11-year-old student at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland said he wouldn’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance because the flag is “racist,”according to WTSP.
Ana Alvarez, a substitute teacher in the classroom, said she was offended by this comment and asked the student, who is black, why he didn’t leave the country, as reported by The Washington Post.
Bottom Line:This one had all of the makings. You have a situation in which a black sixth grader was called out by a Cuban immigrant, who was a substitute teacher, for not standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Somewhat sadly in my view, but nevertheless, children aren’t required to stand for the pledge any longer, so the teacher was out of line at the onset of the exchange. However, what came next was also troubling. Just as troubling is the lack of coverage this important detail received. The 6th grader didn’t just refer to the pledge as racist, he carried on at length including issuing threats to the teacher and the school resource officer who responded to the incident. Here’s the official statement from the Lakeland Police:
"To be clear, the student was NOT arrested for refusing to participate in the pledge; students are not required to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance as noted in the Polk County School Board Code of Conduct for Students.This arrest was based on the student’s choice to disrupt the classroom, make threats and resisting the officer’s efforts to leave the classroom.
The teacher was reprimanded and released by the Polk County School District. This was a case where everyone was a loser, but it also brings to light another potential concern in our society today. I’ve illustrated weekly for years now, how violence against law enforcement has increased in the wake of the Colin Kaepernick protests and subsequent radicalization of elements of our society. In 2018, for the first time on record, the top cause of death for law enforcement in the US was murder. Every related expert on violence against law enforcement I’ve spoken with has stated that without a doubt the effort to radicalize against the Pledge of Allegiance and law enforcement has led to additional violence against those who serve. What we have in this Lakeland case is an illustration of the dangers of radicalizing our children and the impact of Colin Kaepernick and the related radicals on the next generation of children. This movement is dangerous for society and it’s wrong. The question is how will this play out in years to come?