The boy was taken to a juvenile detention center and faces misdemeanor charges.
An 11-year-old student in U.S. state of Florida, was arrested after an escalation with police and school officials erupted from his refusal to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance on Feb. 4, authorities said.
A local news outlet, Bay News 9, reported that the incident began when the student at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, near Tampa, called the flag racist and the national anthem offensive. In a statement provided by the boy’s substitute teacher to the Polk School District, that the teacher, Ana Alvarez, asked him, “why if it was so bad here he did not go to another place to live."
According to the statement, the boy replied, “They brought me here,” the boy replied, according to the statement. The substitute then told him he could “always go back,” and called the school's office “because I did not want to continue dealing with him,” the station reported.
According to The Washington Post, school officials said the boy yelled and called school officials racist. He was arrested by the resource officer, and faces charges including resisting an officer without violence. Alvarez is no longer employed by the school, the school district said.
The boy was taken to a juvenile detention center, and faces misdemeanor charges, including disrupting a school function and resisting an officer without violence, the Lakeland Police Department said in a news release.
Dhakira Talbot, the student’s mother, said that the school "didn’t handle it the way they should have handled it." She told NBC News her son was overwhelmed with the situation, and she transferred him to another school.
A school spokesman told local newspaper, The Ledger, that students are not required to participate in the pledge. Legally, according to a Supreme Court ruling in 1943, students cannot be forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or salute the flag.
"I want my son to know, I don’t care what any other parent say or any other parents do, that I’m going to stand up for him," Talbot said.