Former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lauded the efforts of an 11-year-old girl who decided to protest by kneeling for the Pledge of Allegiance.
What are the details?
According to a May report by the Washington Post, 11-year-old Mariana Taylor — a student at Catonsville Middle School in Baltimore County, Maryland — was inspired by the kneeling actions of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and decided to kneel — during her class’s Pledge of Allegiance.
The outlet reported that Mariana did this in school twice, and on her third pass, a teacher reportedly told her that she was violating school rules.
Mariana told her parents, who ended up involving Maryland's branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. After the story reached notoriety, Mariana's appearance at a school board meeting, discussing her alleged experience, was featured in a video from NowThis.
According to the report, Mariana's teacher said that she should stand to honor the positivity of America, and told the child that she had family overseas serving in the military, noting that the student was being disrespectful.
"I left the classroom in tears," Mariana said in the video. "It is in my rights that I am allowed to kneel."
What did a school district spokesperson say?
Despite Mariana's assertation, a spokesperson for the Baltimore County Public Schools denied knowledge of any teachers who reprimanded or punished a child for kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance.
“We know of no [Baltimore County Public Schools] student who has been reprimanded or punished for nonparticipation in patriotic observances,” a spokesperson said. “We fully support students’ rights and encourage student voice as articulated in board policy.”
You can read more about the background on Mariana's experience here.
‘It is in my rights that I am allowed to kneel.’ — Mariana Taylor, 11, was disciplined by her teacher for kneeling in protest during the Pledge of Allegiance pic.twitter.com/up4PoHAmtS
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) August 13, 2018
When did Hillary Clinton see the video?
The video went viral and caught the attention of Clinton, who applauded Mariana's efforts.
Clinton shared the clip on her Twitter account on Wednesday, and wrote, "It takes courage to exercise your right to protest injustice, especially when you’re 11! Keep up the good work Mariana."
It takes courage to exercise your right to protest injustice, especially when you’re 11! Keep up the good work Mariana. https://t.co/vnGheuWyJ0
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 15, 2018