NBC News reports:
A sixth grader in Florida was arrested after his refusal to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance escalated into a confrontation with police and school officials, authorities said.
The unnamed boy was charged with disrupting a school function and resisting an officer without violence on Feb. 4, the Lakeland Police Department said in a news release.
A local news outlet reported that the confrontation began after the student at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, near Tampa, called the flag racist and described the national anthem as offensive.
Tampa’s ABC affiliate reports:
In a statement to the district, the substitute teacher reported telling the 11-year-old boy “Why if it was so bad here he did not go to another place to live.” She said he then said, “they brought me here.”
She said she replied 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 wrote, “Then I had to call the office because I did not want to continue dealing with him.”
According to the arrest affidavit, the student was arrested by the school resource officer because he refused to follow multiple commands, repeatedly called school leaders racist and was disruptive.