Farmington Schools investigation of East pledge incident continues

As Farmington Public Schools investigates allegations leveled by a student who does not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, Superintendent George Heitsch says the community has been largely supportive.

Brian Chaney told district officials earlier this month that two East Middle School teachers called out his son, Stone, for not standing up during the Pledge of Allegiance. Chaney said one teacher “violently snatched” Stone out of his chair and another berated the sixth-grader during the first week of school.

Officials placed one of the teachers on administrative leave and launched an investigation. The story garnered attention from metro Detroit and national media, and the social media conversation ranged from support for the families and district to tirades laced with pointed accusations and foul language.

“The edges of this conversation have been a little brutal for both sides,” Heitsch said during Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting. “Some of the emails we’ve received have been quite derogatory and nasty, but the vast majority of our community has been supportive of both the system and the families involved.”

“The biggest lesson I’ve learned through all this,” he added, “is the trust our community has in us to be responsive, respectful, transparent, and open about what we’re going through… In the end, we’re going to be a better school system. We’re not learning it just in East Middle School, we’re learning it in every part of our system as we move through this conversation.” reported Wednesday that the district will likely not issue a statement when the investigation concludes: School’s findings in case of student who sat for Pledge to stay private.




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