A sophomore at a Maryland high school took a stand by sitting down.
Actions speak louder than words for Enidris Siurano-Rodríguez, 15, when she refuses to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of each day, HuffPost Latino reported. The stunt has left administrators and the American Civil Liberties Union at odds.
Siurano-Rodríguez, who was born in Puerto Rico, said she made the statement to “rais[e] consciousness about the political situation of the island of her birth and emphasiz[e] her disagreement with U.S. government policies towards the island due to its territorial status.” She moved to the United States when she was three years old.
Puerto Rico is not treated fairly by the United States, she said. ” I dislike the idea that a government so far [from the island] tells us what we can and cannot do.”
The ACLU of Maryland took up Siurano’s cause, accusing Montgomery County Public Schools of violating her rights for sending her to the principal’s office for refusing to stand.
The report said Siurano-Rodríguez was told she did not have to say the pledge, but that she did have to stand during it.
However, according to Dana Tofig, a spokesperson for Montgomery County Schools, students are not required to stand for or participate in the pledge. She said, “If a student does not want to participate in the Pledge, they do not have to and cannot be compelled to do so.”
Reports said Siurano-Rodríguez was told to stand because an administrator felt she was ” being disrespectful to military families and the kids from military families in the school.”