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VIDEO: Teen Refuses to Stand Up for Pledge and Teacher Overreacts

15-year-old Sherman Cooper from Chicago felt like there was a lot of discrimination in America for people of color, so even though he loved his country, when he heard the pledge of allegiance in class he chose to stand by his beliefs and refused to stand up.
His mother was upset with this and had a discussion with the child and the school as well, but when the boy did it a second time and upset the teacher so much that she brutally made him rise, his mother was outraged. A teacher should never act this way! Actually, nobody should act this way, especially as a response to such a nonviolent protest.

According to Wikipedia, the First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, ensuring that there is no prohibition on the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.

Read Sherman Cooper’s full story below, provided by Relay Hero.


By law, the First Amendment allows for citizens to choose whether or not to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. But this Spanish teacher at Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, Illinois doesn’t seem to realize that.

Shemar Cooper, 15, from Chicago refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance while in Spanish class due to his distaste at the way that black Americans are treated and discriminated against. He claimed that the country “sucks” and chose to sit during the pledge.

This got Cooper into quite a bit of trouble, but his mother, Kelley Porter, was happy to apologize to the teacher on behalf of her son due to his poor language. With that being said, she would not be sorry for her son’s personal choice to not stand for the pledge.

However, his teacher was having none of this. During the next class, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited once more, and as he had the week before, Cooper refused to stand. The teacher became furious at his refusal and then attempted to pull him up to stand in a physically violent manner.

This led to Porter reporting the teacher to the police. She is insistent that her son is allowed to make a statement on his own, as he and his family have strong feelings regarding the police brutality and oppression that is forced upon black Americans.

She believes that the teacher should be suspended and threatened that she would press charges.

Porter also clarified that her family has never hated America, and her father served the country in World War II. However, she believes that the negative behavior towards black Americans and other people of color needs to be stopped.


The high school sent out a statement that they respect each student’s First Amendment rights and are taking the issue seriously.

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