An Indiana school teacher and principal are facing a lawsuit from a Terra Haute parent after her 8-year-old was allegedly forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
According to the Tribune Star, Jamie Porter and her son are represented by the ACLU of Indiana and are seeking compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorney fees as a result of the incident.
One school day in March at Fuqua Elementary, Porter’s son allegedly chose to sit quietly during the Pledge of Allegiance.
When asked by teacher Kelly McFarland why he was not participating, the first-grader said “he was doing it to protest the government of the United States, as it was racist, greedy and does not care about people.”
McFarland reportedly took the child by the hand and escorted him to the office of Principal Mary Beth Harris, where he remained for approximately 20 minutes before being allowed to return to class.
During lunch that day, Harris allegedly pulled Porter’s son out of line, took him to another area of the school and made him recite the Pledge with her, calling it “practice.”
The lawsuit contends that the child was “made to feel that he had done something terribly wrong and was in trouble.”
Porter emailed the school superintendent and received a response confirming that her son would be allowed to sit silently during the Pledge.
The lawsuit charges that the boy still “complains of his stomach hurting” when he attends school or thinks about attending school and that “he is suffering continuing anxiety and harm because of this incident.”
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