A middle schooler in Farmington Hills, Michigan said he was assaulted by a teacher for opting to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance. Stone Chaney, a sixth grader at East Middle School, said when he didn’t stand for the pledge during homeroom Sept. 7, the teacher got violent.
“The teacher consultant comes up behind me and snatches me out of my chair violently,” Stone told WDIV-TV. “I was so confused. I didn’t know what was going on.”
Stone returned to school the day after the incident happened, but a different teacher yelled at him when he chose to again sit during the Pledge of Allegiance. Since then, he hasn’t returned to school. Stone’s family said he might start attending school in a different district as a result of the incident.
“I don’t feel safe going to that school anymore because I don’t know what they’re going to do next,” he said.
As for the school district, Farmington Public Schools released a statement about the situation. The teacher accused of assaulting Stone was put on leave until the school could determine what had taken place, the superintendent said in the statement.
“The District fully supports the right of each student to participate or not in the daily Pledge,” the statement said. “The teacher allegedly involved in the incident has been placed on administrative leave. At this time, the District cannot speculate about the outcome of the pending investigation.”
Stone explained his reasoning for choosing not to stand to local reporters.
“I don’t stand because I don’t pledge a flag,” said Stone. “I pledge to God and family.”
Stone’s family said they back up his decision to sit during the pledge.
“It’s his choice to sit,” said his father, Brian Chaney, according to WDIV-TV. “I don’t make him sit. And they should respect that.”