Girl says she was reprimanded for kneeling in class during Pledge of Allegiance

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The ACLU is supporting a Maryland sixth grader who says she was reprimanded for kneeling during the pledge of allegiance.

Eleven-year-old Mariana Taylor says she was protesting racism and sexism.

And she says she was inspired by former 49er Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the National Anthem before football games in 2016.

Mariana says her teacher objected and she was embarrassed by a public confrontation.

The ACLU says the Supreme Court has established First Amendment rights are protected even when a child enters a school.

“I was sitting for about two weeks, and then I decided to kneel as opposed to sit,” Taylor said. “When I was sitting, my teacher came up and asked me, ‘Why are you sitting?’ And I told her it was really complicated. Personally, I don’t agree with some of the ideals of the president. His wall is just absurd to me. There is just so much racism, sexism, so many people have anti-gay thoughts.”

Mariana says she intends to continue kneeling.

School officials say they support student rights and are unaware of any students being punished for not participating in the pledge of allegiance.

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