A Pearland, Texas middle-school student has been scrutinized for protesting the national anthem after discovering the racist history of its writer, Francis Scott Key.
For the last two weeks, Alexander Middle School fifth-grader Skyla Madria has protested they lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by kneeling three times.
“When I heard the third verse of the national anthem, I decided that’s not right and he shouldn’t have wrote that,” Skyla explains.
However, the Alexander Middle School coach reportedly did not take kindly to her peaceful protests.
“He told me you should respect my flag, and respect my nation,” she tells reporters. “He yelled at me. Then, he sent me to the principal. The principal called my mother and called me disgusting for not standing up.”
Now, Skyla’s mother is taking action.
Elizabeth Owens has recruited local activist Quannel X after the Pearland Independent School District failed to discipline the principal and coach.
In a statement from Pearland ISD, the district says that Skyla knelt during the pledge not the national anthem:
“When a Pearland ISD student recently knelt during the Pledge of Allegiance, the teacher requested that the child stand, and the child did so. The teacher did not touch or discipline the student in any way, as alleged by Quanell X. The student’s parent initially told campus administrators that the child should stand as well.”
The Pearland ISD spokesperson adds that students do not sing the national anthem.
However, a Collier County, Florida school is not as accommodating.
Lely High School Principal Ryan Nemeth requires all students to stand for the national anthem or face ejection from school events.
“You will stand, and you will stay quiet. If you don’t.. you are going to be sent home, and you’re not going to have a refund of your ticket price.”