LOWER LAKE, CA (WCMH) — One of the students is a Native American, and now they are fighting back against the lowered grade.
“It’s the reason, because of the history that happened here. On my land. My people’s land. I go by that, and I don’t agree with it, so I’m not going to stand for the people who did this to my people,” student Leilani Thomas told KPIX.
Because Thomas and her friend have both been skipping the pledge since the first day of school, the teacher lowered their participation grade from a five to a three.
“Here’s the deal with that. If you really, really, really, really, really have an argument and feel so strongly about, then I need to see it written out. Like, your argument in an essay form, like, why, why, why. Because here’s the real thing: those people, they’re not alive anymore, your ancestors,” the teacher can be heard explaining in a recording captured by Thomas.
After Thomas and her father took the recording to administrators, she was moved to another teacher.
But Thomas hopes her and her friend’s stance serves as a lesson on free speech.
“She says that it represents the military and that they risked their lives for us, and I always tell her, ‘Well, my people risked our lives for our freedom, for our land, for our rights,'” she told KPIX.