If you get arrested for something as a teen, please let be for something as bad ass as this kid, and not something dumb like drinking stinky beers behind the school. In any case, according to the Washington Post, a sixth grade student at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy was arrested following his refusal to salute the American flag on account of his belief that the flag and the pledge of allegiance stood for racist ideas. This kid was 11 and, lest my opinion on this be buried somewhere in the details, a huge badass.
When the student, himself black, said that the flag stood for ideas that were racist again black people, the substitute teacher, Ana Alvarez, told the student, who again is a child, that if he hates America so much he should go somewhere else. The student then replied with the most bad ass and accurate response: “They brought me here”.
The substitute teacher, who again, was probably supposed to just pop in a video and take a nap, responded, “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.”. The teacher then called the dean who must have threatened suspension, because the student then responded with another bad ass quip that my cowardly little self could never have considered saying to a superior: “Suspend me! I don’t care. This school is racist.” The student then took his backpack and left.
I guess to prove his point that the school is racist, the school then called the cops on him.
Now, while the student has been suspended for three days and taken to a juvenile detention center, the police very sweatily professes that the child was arrested for causing a disruption, which again, in this reporter’s opinion, is not something I think they would arrest a white 11 year old for.
But they also have to say that it’s a disruption because, according to the Supreme Court, it is unconstitutional to force someone to say the pledge of allegiance. According to the Washington Post, the 1943 ruling in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, it is against the first amendment for teachers to force students to say the pledge.
The substitute teacher, Ava Alvarez, is no longer allowed to work in the district, and since the story spread, the school district changed its tune on the arrest, saying:
“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.”
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