LAWTON, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma mom claims her two daughters were arrested and suspended from Lawton High School.
Samantha Woods told KFOR a confrontation with a teacher came after the girls refused to stand for the National Anthem. Woods claimed she was told the girls’ behavior was the reason for their arrest and 30-day suspension.
“The teacher got right in her face and told her, ‘No, you need to stand up,'” said Woods. “So then when my kids get agitated, and they get loud with her, that’s when she went and got the principal and police.”
Woods told KFOR her daughters were handcuffed and charged with disturbing the peace. She claimed the teacher told police her daughters made threats against the teacher.
“There would have been no behavior if she didn’t ask them to stand,” said Woods. “They told her no, and she should’ve just kept going.”
The American Civil Liberties Union is now involved with the incident. The organization sent a letter to Lawton Public Schools hoping the school would reverse the suspension because it said the girls were practicing their First Amendment rights.
“Our concern is that what was the initial cause of the interaction,” said Tamya Cox-Toure with ACLU. “The initial cause of the interaction was because the students did not stand, and then it escalated from there.”
School officials released this statement to KFOR:
“Lawton Public Schools can confirm the receipt of a letter from the ACLU which has been turned over to our legal team.
The district can also confirm that no person was arrested, handcuffed, or disciplined at LPS, nor would we do so for refusing to stand for the National Anthem.
Unfortunately, we are unable to comment on anything that relates to students due to privacy laws. ”
“We do recognize that the reason that they were arrested was not that they didn’t stand,” said Cox-Toure. “But we want to be very clear that the reason the altercation even happened was that a teacher pretty much violated their First Amendment rights by even requesting them to stand.”
KFOR pressed the school district further about why the students were arrested, was there a threat made, did the teacher approach the girls about standing for the national anthem, and a district spokeswoman told us, “Regrettably, I cannot discuss the details because it involves students.”
“It’s a horrible situation all the way around. It should have never happened. I just hope that they do right and take the suspension back,” said Woods.