Civil rights complaint filed in boy's arrest at Florida school

Posted at 1:03 PM, Mar 01, 2019

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — A civil rights complaint has been filed on behalf of a Florida sixth-grader who was arrested after his refusal to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance triggered a confrontation.

Tampa attorney Roderick Ford filed the complaint Monday with the U.S. Department of Education.

The Ledger reports the complaint says the 11-year-old's civil rights were violated by a "reprisal" for exercising his constitutional right not to say the pledge Feb. 4 at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy. It also says the school resource officer unlawfully arrested and committed battery on a child, and the school subjected him to racial discrimination.

Lakeland Police said the student was disruptive and made threats after a substitute teacher ordered him to stand.

Polk County School District attorney Wes Bridges said he hadn't yet seen the complaint.