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Student Knocked From Chair While Sitting During Pledge (Photos)

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A Maryland high school student is in trouble for kicking a chair out from underneath another student who was not standing during the Pledge of Allegiance.

The incident happened on Oct. 24 at Winters Mill High School in the town of Westminster, the Daily Mail reports.

The chair-kicker posted video of the incident on Instagram, along with the caption: "Some people don't understand how disrespectful it is to sit during the pledge or national anthem and deserves to get there a*s kicked More of y'all need [stand up] to these jackasses that sit during the pledge."

Judging from his reference to the national anthem, his action was presumably a  negative response to the NFL protest movement has been growing since 2016, when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick protested racial injustice by refusing to stand during the traditional playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner." 

As a matter of policy, students in the Carroll County public schools are not required to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. 

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"The school cannot punish the student for not standing for the pledge," said Dana Falls, director of student services for Carroll County schools.

In 1943, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protected students from being forced to salute the flag and say the pledge in public schools, notes the Carroll County Times.

Falls said that the student who kicked the chair has been disciplined, declaring what he did as "unacceptable."

He added: "In my opinion, based on what I know about the initial incident ... that would be considered an unsafe behavior or disrespect to the student. If it continued, it would absolutely be considered bullying."

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Board of Education President Devon Rothschild said the school district has a zero tolerance bullying policy.

According to the student handbook, the Carroll County Public Schools "will not tolerate any acts of "bullying, harassment, intimidation, discrimination, or hazing on the part of students or employees."

On social media, the non-pledging student invoked his First Amendment rights:

I was practicing my right to free speech, a right given to me by the soldiers that I do respect, unlike what he says. I simply will not stand and pledge allegiance to a country that is run by a racist, sexist, bigoted, fascist. I will not stand for a country who mistreats those who aren't white and rich. Forced patriotism is fascism, and nothing less. So I invite all to join me tomorrow, and #sitthef**kdown if you believe that free speech is a fundamental right of the people, and that it should be protected.

Sources: Daily Mail, Carroll County Times / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: Facebook via Daily Mail (2)

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