A California high school student refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance on Thursday and had her participation grade docked.
Leilani Thomas, 14, a member of Northern California's Pomo tribe, has been protesting the pledge since second grade because of America's past and present horrific treatment of indigenous communities. However, this past week, a teacher told her she didn't have the choice to protest and lowered her grade.
"She told me I was being disrespectful and I was pretty mad," Leilani told KXTV. "She was being disrespectful to me also, saying I was making bad choices, and I don't have the choice to sit during the pledge."
She also spoke with KCRA about how awful it feels to stand for the pledge. "I feel like it's a lie to me in, like, what they did to my people," she said. "Not only here, but around the country. It's still going on to this day."
I was going to write that it looks like Leilani is joining athletes Colin Kaepernick and Megan Rapinoe in their protests of the national anthem, but it looks like they're joining her.
Thankfully/Rightfully, the school superintendent said Leilani has the right to protest and has switched her to another class. No word yet on what happened with the teacher who tried to silence her.