According to the Associated Press, a Farmington-area teacher was put on leave after physically forcing a sixth grade boy to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

11-year-old Stone Chaney says he hasn’t participated in the pledge since the second grade because he only makes a pledge to his family and God.

On September 7, while the other kids were reciting the pledge, Chaney was doing his homework at East Middle School when a teacher “snatched” the boy out of his seat.

“I told the lady that I don’t stand for the pledge and she just kind of glared at me. … I was confused when it happened because I didn’t know what was going on. And then I was irritated because that’s not supposed to happen,” Chaney said.

He claims that the next day, a different teacher yelled at him to stand during the pledge.

According to superintendent George Heitsch said that students the right to participate or not during the Pledge of Allegiance. The district is currently conducting an investigation and a teacher has been put on leave.

Heitsch said that every adult and child in the district is expected “to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Chaney said that he stopped taking part of the pledge in second grade noticing his father sit during the pledge. Brian Chaney, who works for the Pontiac school district, said, “I’m looking at my son as a hero. He believes in what he believes in. He’s not worried about what other people think of him.”

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