By The Associated Press
A Connecticut teenager who says she was mocked and shamed for not standing up during the Pledge of Allegiance filed a federal lawsuit this week against her teacher and the school board.
The unnamed 14-year-old student said she and other students remained seated as part of a “peaceful and nondisruptive” protest over racial discrimination against black people in her lawsuit filed Oct. 15 in U.S. District Court.
The Waterbury Arts Magnet School teacher brought another teacher into the classroom to lecture the students on their “supposed lack of patriotism” while praising others who stood, according to the lawsuit.
The student’s attorney, John Williams, said the teacher “went way overboard,” and his actions violated her First Amendment rights.
“As long as they are not being disruptive, they are entitled to freely express political views,” he said.
Williams told the Republican-American the student’s mother reached out to him after attempts to resolve the issue with school administrators failed.
He said the student has been “frightened and intimidated” as a result of the teacher’s actions.
Williams said they’re seeking an injunction to stop the teacher’s behavior and get undisclosed damages.
A message left at the school district’s superintendent’s office Oct. 18 was not immediately returned.