Parent files complaint after child told to stand up for Pledge of Allegiance

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A parent has filed a complaint with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office after a deputy reportedly told their child to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The incident happened at Cane Bay Middle School in Summerville about two weeks ago, according to Chief Deputy Mike Cochran.

Cochran says the child apparently knelt down for the pledge and was told by the deputy, a fill-in school resource officer, to stand up for the pledge.

According to the school district, the student did not stand for the pledge after reportedly being told to do so by the deputy.

Berkeley County School District spokeswoman Katie Orvin says the student was not disciplined because it would not be in line with district policy and the policy reflects state law.

According to state law, students are not required to stand for the pledge and will not be penalized if they do not stand for the pledge.

Berkeley County residents have mixed feelings on the student's refusal to stand for the pledge.

"Personally, I stand [for] the Pledge of Allegiance, that's my own personal belief," Summerville resident Gregory Beasley said. "But I don't think beliefs should be forced upon people."

Moncks Corner resident Essie Tucker said she believes students should have to stand.

"It's common sense," she said. "Everybody rises and they stand."

Summerville resident Mary Irwin agrees that the student should not face any punishment.

“Though I don’t think kneeling is getting the point across that they want to make,” Irwin said.

"I think they're just trying to find some reason to make a scene to be honest with you," Moncks Corner resident Paul Stuckey said.

But the controversy at Cane Bay seems far from over.

Cochran says the student's father complained to the sheriff's office and that an internal investigation has been launched. The deputy is still on duty, Cochran said.

The sheriff's office has declined to release the name of the deputy while the investigation is underway.

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