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Ansonia High student accused of substituting ‘ISIS’ for ‘U.S.’ during pledge of allegiance

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ANSONIA–A federal investigation has been initiated after a 15-year-old Ansonia High School student allegedly substituted the name “ISIS” for “United States” when doing the morning pledge of allegiance in class.

The student, who was not identified because he is a minor, is said to have committed the act before Christmas vacation, according to the Connecticut Post. He is now being educated separately in a Board of Education annex building.

Ansonia Police officials say the investigation is complete on their end and that it was referred to Homeland Security, per protocol, and that the feds were conducting an investigation.

Lt. Andrew Cota told FOX 61 that a teacher heard the student’s statement, and “based on the current climate as it relates to terror issues,” she felt it should be reported. However, though it didn’t appear to be malicious, it needed to be documented, and the protocol is to then refer it to Homeland Security.

The student’s mother spoke at a Board of Education meeting after the incident about her son, asking for some answers as to why the investigation was even initiated.

According to the meeting minutes, the boy’s mother said her son “did not breach any of the codes of conduct, he did not misbehave; the thing that he was alleged was not even founded. It was not true.”

She also said that even if it was true that he said those things, he has a constitutional right to do so.

“He never threatened anybody, he never harmed anyone and Ansonia has not moved to deal with it,” she went on to say. “He is not there because of discipline, because of any ill behavior. He is there because the educational environment at Ansonia High School became hostile.”

Ansonia Board of Education Vice President Carmen Pitney disagreed with the mother, saying the claims were “verified by other students and this is why the principal and the officer had to take action.”

The boy’s mother then brought up the referral to Homeland Security. “It has been passed on to national Homeland Security where my student, who has never been aggressive, hostile, disrespectful, a threat to anyone in a school environment is now pushed through a federal investigation.”

Superintendent Carol  Merlone said she had spoke with the Ansonia Police Department after the incident, but that the claim had already been filed with Homeland Security. “It cannot be withdrawn,” she explained to the distraught mother.

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