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Freedom of speech and standing up for your rights and beliefs are some of the hottest topics in the country right now. However, it always seems that when POC utilize those rights and freedoms they are met with outrage, disdain and even physical violence. The latter is what happened when a black student decided not to stand during the pledge of allegiance and was physically assaulted by his teacher.

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Stone Chaney, a 6th-grader at East Middle School in Farmington Hills, Michigan, was reportedly violently dragged from his seat by his teacher after refusing to stand during the daily pledge of allegiance. As reported by The Root, the teacher in question dragged Chaney and attempted to force him to stand during the pledge as other students watched.

Via The Root:

Stone Chaney gave a detailed account of the incident, “The teacher consultant comes up behind me and snatches me out of my chair violently,” Stone told the local news. “I was so confused. I didn’t know what was going on.”

Stone is very adamant about not standing, saying that he does not pledge to a flag. “I don’t stand because I don’t pledge to a flag,” the precocious child explained. “I pledge to God and family.”

Stone’s parents are still looking for answers as to how the incident, which occurred Sept. 7., could have unfolded the way it did. His father addressed the district directly at its last board meeting, defending his son’s right to do what he wishes when the pledge is being spoken. “It’s his choice to sit,” Brian Chaney said. “I don’t make him sit. And they should respect that.”

While the teacher’s name has not yet been released to the public, the superintendent of Farmington Public Schools released a statement proclaiming that the district is currently investigating the matter and the teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending the case’s outcome. The statement also stressed that the district supports the rights of any student who declines to stand for the pledge.

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