Carlisle student sits for pledge; substitute teacher suggests he ‘leave the country’

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CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – A substitute teacher was removed from Carlisle High School after calling out a student who chose not to stand for the pledge of allegiance.

Now Carlisle students are standing behind their peer.

Michael Smith said his friend, Admir, was upset Friday morning.

“That he was sitting in the classroom, and he chose to sit down during the pledge of allegiance,” Smith said.

A substitute teacher called him out, and a classmate got the following conversation on video:

Substitute: “And if you don’t stand up, you’d better have a good reason why.”
Admir: (silent)
Substitute: “Well OK, then maybe you would just like to leave the country.”

“The reason that he gave was that he didn’t like the wars going on in the Middle East, and he was sort of protesting those. He’s been doing it since sixth grade,” Smith said.

He said Admir is American, but is of Bosnian descent.

“Most people are really shocked that something like this happened in our area,” Smith said.

Friday morning, Smith went to social media and started the hashtag #WeSitWithAdmir, which is now trending. The school got wind of the incident later that day, and released a statement.

The district stated:

“This substitute teacher’s actions do not align with the beliefs and philosophy of the Carlisle Area School District and its employees.”

The substitute was removed from the classroom, and the district says she will not return.

“People were jokingly calling me ‘Colin Kaepernick’ afterward. But everyone has been really supportive,” Admir told the Carlisle Sentinel.

Students say things are back to status quo with those who normally stand for the pledge, standing. Those who normally sit continue to do so.

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