11 year old boy arrested for not standing for Pledge of Allegiance. Free speech violation? - DebateIsland Development Environment The Best Online Debate Website | DebateIsland.com

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

DebateIsland Development Environment

11 year old boy arrested for not standing for Pledge of Allegiance. Free speech violation?
in News

By YeshuaRedeemedYeshuaRedeemed 389 Pts edited February 2019

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Debra AI Prediction

Predicted To Win
Predicted 2nd Place

Details +


  • Do you mean not standing?
    "We're all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." 
  • Okay so this is interesting. Ive heard so far that the officer who arrested the child is currently on leave while the investigation into this problem is going on.
    Sovereignty for Kekistan
  • @K_Michael Yes. Editting now.
    Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

  • https://www-washingtonpost-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/education/2019/02/17/florida-sixth-grader-charged-with-misdemeanor-after-refusing-recite-pledge-allegiance/?amp_js_v=a2&amp_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQCCAE=#aoh=15507685716528&amp_ct=1550768616029&csi=1&referrer=https://www.google.com&amp_tf=From %1$s&ampshare=https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/02/17/florida-sixth-grader-charged-with-misdemeanor-after-refusing-recite-pledge-allegiance/

    Some excerpts from the article:

    "Florida sixth-grader arrested after dispute with teacher over Pledge of Allegiance"

    "A Florida student is facing misdemeanor charges after a confrontation with his teacher that began with his refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and escalated into what officials described as disruptive behavior.

    The student, a sixth-grader at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland, Fla., east of Tampa, refused to stand for the pledge in the Feb. 4 incident, telling the teacher that he thinks the flag and the national anthem are “racist” against black people, according to an affidavit. The teacher then had what appeared to be a contentious exchange with the boy."

    "If living in the United States is “so bad,” why not go to another place to live? substitute teacher Ana Alvarez asked the student, according to a handwritten statement from her.

    “They brought me here,” the boy replied."

    "Alvarez responded by saying, “Well you can always go back, because I came here from Cuba, and the day I feel I’m not welcome here anymore, I would find another place to live.” She then called the school office, as she did not want to keep dealing with the student, according to the statement."

    "Officials said the situation escalated. The student yelled at the administrative dean and a school resource officer with the Lakeland Police Department after they came to the classroom, accusing them of being racist and repeatedly refusing to leave the room.

    “Suspend me! I don’t care. This school is racist,” the student, who is black, told the dean as he walked out of the classroom with his backpack, according to the affidavit."

    ""According to a statement from the Lakeland Police Department, the boy then “created another disturbance and made threats while he was escorted to the office.” He was later charged by police with disruption of a school facility and resisting an officer without violence."

    "Lakeland police said in the news release that the student was not arrested for refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. “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,” police said."

    "The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida issued a rebuke in the wake of the controversy. “This is outrageous. Students do not lose their First Amendment rights when they enter the schoolhouse gates,” the group said on Twitter. “This is a prime example of the over-policing of Black students in school.”

    "The 11-year-old boy’s mother, Dhakira Talbot, was not immediately available for comment Sunday. But she told Bay News 9 the teacher was wrong and the school overstepped its authority by punishing her son, who was taken to a juvenile detention center and suspended for three days after the incident."

    “I’m upset, I’m angry. I’m hurt, more so for my son. My son has never been through anything like this,” Talbot told the TV station. “I feel like this should’ve been handled differently. If any disciplinary action should’ve been taken, it should’ve been with the school. He shouldn’t have been arrested.” Talbot said she thought the charges should be dropped and that the school should be held accountable for its handling of the situation."

    "The affidavit stated that the student threatened to beat the teacher, but Talbot told Bay News 9 that her son did no such thing."

    "In a statement Monday, Polk County Public Schools said the resource officer, not school officials, made the decision to arrest the student."

    "The school district said students are not required to participate in reciting the pledge. In fact, the Supreme Court ruled in 1943 in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette that schools cannot require students to salute the flag or recite the pledge, citing First Amendment rights.

    But the substitute teacher was not aware that students are not required to recite the pledge, the school district said, adding that officials will look at improving training for substitute teachers and that Alvarez no longer works in the district."

    “We do not condone the substitute’s behavior. We respect our students’ right to freedom of expression and we are committed to protecting that critical right while ensuring peaceful classrooms so all students can learn,” the district said."

    "The Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem have been sources of tension after critics, including President Trump, denounced former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee during the singing of anthem before each game, an act to protest racial injustice and police brutality. But many followed Kaepernick’s lead and defended his right to free speech and to protest."

    "In 2017, a black student was expelled from her Houston high school for refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. India Landry’s silent protest prompted a long legal battle in federal court, with the teen’s family accusing the school of violating her free speech rights. Last year, the Texas attorney general intervened and defended a state law requiring students to recite the pledge."

    From my understanding, the substitute teacher (Ana Alvarez) no longer works in the district, and the officials at the school will work at improving training for the substitute teacher.

    A guess, the charges will be dropped. 

  • 11 year old boy arrested for not standing for Pledge of Allegiance. Free speech violation?

    "Offensive" & "illegal" may be synonyms under totalitarianism.
    Let us hope, not here.

    No child should be invited to take the U.S. pledge of allegiance.

    Children are minors, and thus denied fundamental legal rights that emancipated adults are entitled to.

    If children cannot be bound by taking an oath (such as a juror's oath) then they must not be bound by a pledge, essentially the same as an oath.
  • I think these incidents should be ignored unless they begin to grow. If something big is made of them, then the instigator has won and likely it will expand. If it is ignored it will likely die, but, here we are, debating idiocy on a world wide web …. just what certain groups love.
    It wouldn't surprise me if the parents are part of a "certain group" that hoped this would happen. They have already won.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1699 Pts
    edited February 2019
    Such cases almost always have much more to them, than the headlines suggest. It is kind of like that case where someone criticised George W Bush for the Iraq war and got arrested - turned out, "criticised" was a very mild interpretation of some pretty drastic actions the individual prepared.

    Typically it goes along these lines. All the kids stood up. One kid did not. The teacher asked him why he did not stand up. He said that he does not care about these rituals. The teacher told him that he can leave the class, and should only come back with his parents. The kid flipped out and started yelling. The teacher started yelling louder. Soon everybody in the class was yelling. Over the commotion, someone broke some table. Everything spun out of control, and soon the alleged culprit (the boy) was arrested.

    I was growing up in a very authoritarian society. There not standing up during a national anthem was seen as an outright treason. Yet I never stood up, and the worst that happened were some petty insults. The reason is, I never yelled, argued or sought attention by other means. I would just say that it was my right not to stand up, and I exercised it.

    When talking with these patriotic people, the worst thing you can do is try to justify your behavior. It never works, and it always escalates the situation in the end. Just shrug, say, "I did what I did. Let us continue our studies now, shall we?", and move on. Do not apologise, do not explain yourself, do not try to persuade them. Especially when your actual position is so wacky as that of the kid from the story (kindly linked by @TKDB).

    P.S. And if your school is particularly pesky about it - then just stand up. Do not make a scandal out of it. Nobody will die just because you did something you did not agree with. Although, if the school is that bad that they actually force students to do it, then I would recommend switching to a better school.
  • "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. "

    Please inform me what benefit accrues to a society that pressures children into making adult commitments. What compensatory benefit do children derive from it?
Sign In or Register to comment.

Back To Top


| The Best Online Debate Experience!
2019 DebateIsland.com, All rights reserved. DebateIsland.com | The Best Online Debate Experience! Debate topics you care about in a friendly and fun way. Come try us out now. We are totally free!

Contact us

Awesome Debates
Terms of Service

Get In Touch