School: Substitute Teacher Knelt During Pledge of Allegiance

A public school in Massachusetts is experiencing some backlash from parents and students after a substitute teacher knelt in protest during the Pledge of Allegiance.

The protest happened during Thursday's morning activities at the Russell Street Elementary School in Littleton. After the pledge was finished, the teacher went on to share her political views with students.

According to the school district, several parents and students spoke with the administration regarding the actions of the substitute.

"The Littleton Public Schools respect the rights of all individuals to participate or respectfully abstain from participating in the Pledge of Allegiance," Principal Scott Bazydlo said in a statement. "While this topic is timely and does have educational merit, it should be addressed sensitively and age-appropriately by permanent faculty and inclusive of the beliefs of all children and families."

Bazydlo went on to say that the protest was not part of the classroom teacher's plans.

"While well-intended...[it] should not have taken place in the fashion it did," he wrote.

One parent told NBC Boston, "I agree with what they're going, I just don't think it's the proper place for it, but in the same token, I think if the teacher could make her views known in a more apolitical way perhaps. I think trying to impart your own political views to students...I think it's inapprropriate."

The incident came following last weekend's display, when about 200 National Football League players protested in some fashion - by either kneeling, linking arms or abstaining from the field - after President Donald Trump said NFL team owners should fire or suspend players who protest during the National Anthem.

The ongoing protest of kneeling during the anthem ahead of a game was started by now-free agent Colin Kaepernick, who was protesting the treatment of African-Americans by law enforcement.

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