WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- A grade-six student in the U.S. state of Florida was arrested after he refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in his classroom, but local police said Monday that he was arrested "for disrupting the classroom" and "NOT for refusing to participate" in the pledge.
On Feb. 4, the 11-year-old student, who is black, refused to take part in the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag in his classroom, citing "racist" and "offensive to black people" as reasons, CNN reported quoting the school district and local police statements.
A substitute teacher then exchanged words with the student and called the school administration, despite the fact that students are not mandated to participate in the pledge, according to the school district.
A school administrator and an officer came to the classroom and asked the student to leave, but the six-grader refused, Lakeland Police said, adding that he later "left the classroom and created another disturbance."
Dhakira Talbot, the boy's mother, told Spectrum Bay News 9 that her son is in gifted classes and had been bullied at the school before.
"My son has never been through anything like this. And I feel like they should've handled this differently," she said, adding: "If any disciplinary action should've been taken, it should've been with the school."