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Balt. Co. Student Reprimanded For Taking A Knee During Pledge

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The ACLU of Maryland submitted a request for the Baltimore County school system to clarify county rules on silent protests.

The letter says 11-year-old Mariana Taylor took a knee during the pledge of allegiance back in February at Catonsville Middle School. She was confronted by her teacher who told her the "rules" require she stand. It says Taylor was then reprimanded for being disrespectful and left the room in tears. Her next teacher told her to see the guidance counselor.

"I decided to kneel because there is a lot of things I really don't agree with in the country happening - racism, sexism and the person in the White House, particularly the wall - it's not ok," said sixth-grader Taylor in the written statement. "I feel like it's important to stand up for what I believe in and I want to inspire other people to do it too."

ACLU says Taylor's mother, Joanne Taylor, went to the school and met with the counselor and teacher. After the meeting, Taylor and her mother remained confused on exactly what the school's policy was in terms of if students were allowed to silently kneel or even to sit quietly during the Pledge.

The school system did not reply for comment Monday to our media partner The Baltimore Sun.

The Sun reports the ACLU sent the letter to the school system last week but delayed the public release for Monday due to last week's death of County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

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