Two-time presidential loser Hillary Clinton has expressed her support and approval on Wednesday to an 11-year-old girl for taking a knee during the Pledge of Allegiance, encouraging her to “keep up the good work.”
Clinton took to Twitter to respond to a NowThis video about Mariana Taylor, a sixth-grader at Catonsville Middle School in Baltimore County, Maryland. According to the Washington Post, the video talks about how Taylor, a student “with strong beliefs about racial injustice, sexism, gay rights and President Trump’s proposed wall at the Mexico border,” was scolded by her teacher in May for taking a knee in protest during the Pledge of Allegiance. She noted that she got inspiration to kneel by former NFL player Colin Kaepernick and his protests against racial injustice.
“It takes courage to exercise your right to protest injustice, especially when you’re 11! Keep up the good work Mariana,” Clinton tweeted.
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
Taylor told the Post she began kneeling during the pledge to “to show people that what’s going on is not okay.”
The student stated she was angrily criticized by her teacher on the third day of kneeling and was told she should be standing for the Pledge of Allegiance to honor the good things in America. The sixth-grader also noted that her teacher reprimanded her for being disrespectful toward the country by kneeling, noting she had family overseas, according to the Post.
“It was very upsetting that she came up and confronted me and said I was disrespecting the country,” said Taylor, who left the class in tears.
The teacher at one point claimed that she acted out of concern for Mariana, worrying that the girl was fixated on the nation’s problems, according to the ACLU letter. “She did not explain how this concern would lead her to reprimand Mariana for being disrespectful,” the letter said.
A counselor spoke up in support of Mariana the day the alleged episode occurred, saying she was “brave,” and at another point, the teacher said she was sorry if she had misunderstood policy or been wrong to question the girl, the letter said.
The principal first said that school system rules forbids kneeling but later told the family he had learned from district administrators and legal advisers that the school system had not been in a similar situation before, according to the letter. He thought the policy may require updating, the letter said.
Clinton has defended kneeling many times before. The former Secretary of State castigated President Donald Trump last October in London, telling the crowd that his attacks on players kneeling during the national anthem are “very clear dog-whistles” to his base and that kneeling is a “reverent position.”
“Actually, kneeling is a reverent position,” Clinton said. “It was to demonstrate in a peaceful way against racism and injustice in our criminal system.”
She added the protests are “not against our anthem or our flag.”