Lelani Thomas, high school student at Lower Lake High School in Lower Lake, California, has been sitting down for the Pledge of Allegiance way before Colin Kaepernick started kneeling for the national anthem.
Thomas, who is Native American, has been sitting down for the pledge since she was in second grade.
According to KXTV, Thomas made this decision after her parents, “brought up what it meant to us and our people. So I just started sitting down.”
Though Thomas has been sitting down for the pledge for years, this is the first time it was considered a problem.
Thomas’s teacher took points off of her participation score after she sat during the pledge.
“She told me I was being disrespectful and I was pretty mad. 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.”
Luckily, Thomas has the support of many others in this situation.
After learning about the incident, the school switched Thomas to another teacher.
The Konocti School District Superintendent, Donna Becnel, is defending Thomas and all students' right to choose to sit.
Becnel said, “They have the same rights when they walk into the schoolhouse than anybody else does.”
She also says that it is district policy to respect the students’ free speech.
This occurrence will not be holding Thomas back, as she plans to continue to sit.
If anything, it has given her more of a reason to sit, as she states, “I’m understanding it more that it means a lot, and to a lot of my people also.”
It seems that some have been “pulling a Kaepernick” before the 49ers player even did it himself.
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