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Student kneels for pledge, gets sent home
01:47 - Source: KOSA

Story highlights

The 8-year-old said he's protesting against racial injustice

School district said the boy's outburst was more than just kneeling

CNN  — 

Colin Kapernick-style protests have migrated from the playing field to the classroom.

An 8-year-old boy named Jaxon was sent home from his elementary school in Midland, Texas, Tuesday after he took a knee during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Jaxon said he did it “because it was justice for black people getting murdered,” he told CNN affiliate KOSA.

A growing number of athletes have been kneeling during the national anthem at sporting events to protest police brutality and racial injustice. Kapernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, was the first to start the protests during NFL preseason games this year. Cheerleaders, band members and even spectators have taken part in the protests as well.

Stephanie Cook, Jaxon’s grandmother, told KOSA that a teacher told him to get up when he kneeled down for the pledge. Cook is proud of him for taking a stand, by kneeling.

“I would have liked the teacher to do what was right,” Cook said. “He has the right to kneel, why make a big deal out of it? If you feel like the other students in class don’t understand. Take that time, right there was her window, to teach.”

More than kneeling?

The Midland Independent School District says Jaxon was sent home for an “outburst” beyond kneeling during the pledge, but it can’t talk about it because of privacy laws.

“Midland ISD is aware of the actions that took place this morning at Milam Elementary School. Federal law prohibits the release of specific information regarding individual student discipline,” district spokesperson Woodrow Bailey said in a statement. “Midland ISD has adopted a Student Code of Conduct. When those standards are violated students will be disciplined according to district policy.”

Texas Education Agency, a state government agency which oversees education, says districts can excuse a student who doesn’t want to recite the pledge, but it offers no guidance on whether students have to stand.