Duval high school teacher removed from classroom for admonishing students not standing for Pledge of Allegiance

Jacksonville, FL — A teacher at First Coast High School has been removed from the classroom, after Duval County Public Schools says he wrote a statement on his classroom board admonishing students who did not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance or National Anthem.

A DCPS spokesperson says the statement included historical references, including slavery, the right for women to vote, and more. The district says the message also implied that students that fail to stand for the pledge lack maturity.

The district says the teacher's message was not consistent with Florida statute or the school board's policy. Under those, students can be excused from reciting the pledge, including standing, upon a written request from the student's parent or legal guardian.

We're told this incident has been referred to the Office of Professional Standards for review and that the teacher has been removed from the classroom, pending the outcome of that review.

The principal of First Coast High School, Justin Fluent, has released the following statement:

"I believe classrooms provide the perfect place to have insightful and thought-provoking discussions about patriotic expressions and civil liberty. However, this must be done in a productive and respectful way, and in accordance with law and school board policy."

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