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Student Reprimanded For Sitting During The Pledge Of Allegiance

CHICAGO (CBS) – A mother is furious after her son's school denies his right to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Kelly Porter is the mother of 15-year-old Shemar Cooper, who is a sophomore at Eisenhower High School. Cooper chose to sit last Friday during the pledge. His Spanish teacher, Ms. Alfono, approached Cooper about it and his response was 'America sucks,' WBBM's Mike Krauser reports.


"Last Friday my son decided he did not want to stand up to Pledge the Allegiance," Porter said. "He has that right. His teacher approached him and insisted that he stand up. Well, he said 'America sucks.' Now, maybe that was a little disrespectful so I came up to the school on Friday and had my son apologize."

Porter thought that would be the end of it, but all this week he has received harassment from that same teacher and other staff members, including being sent to the office for the refusal to stand.

The teacher again insisted he stand on Tuesday and tried to pull him out of his seat, Porter said. And on Thursday, he was pulled out of class and reprimanded.

"But to literally try to force my son out of the chair, that is against the law," Porter said.

He explained to his mother he does not think America supports black people, so he does not believe in the Pledge of Allegiance.

"He sees the news, he sees what's going on with black kids," Porter said.

Porter has reached out to the school's superintendent several times, but has not received a call or response. She said she wants the teacher arrested and was filing a police report.

Porter made the decision to keep Cooper home Friday from school, because nothing has been done thus far to stop the harassment. Administration cannot go on ignoring it, Porter said, and she cannot keep pulling Cooper out of school for this.

Principal Eric Briseno tells WBBM he's looking into the family's allegations -- and that he takes this and any alleged violation of students' rights very seriously.

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