BALTIMORE Co., Md. (WJZ) — A soon to be seventh grader is starting her summer by taking on the Baltimore County School Board.
The Catonsville middle schooler made national headlines last year for her silent protest during the pledge of allegiance. The 12-year-old is asking for the school to revise its rules, clarifying that students are allowed to silently dissent during things like the pledge of allegiance or national anthem.
“It just kind of clicked with me because I’m getting older now, and I’m actually realizing what this means,” Taylor said.
Inspired by Colin Kaepernick’s act of dissent during the national anthem, Taylor and her family say her choice also drew attention and a reported reprimand from her teacher.
Backed by the ACLU of Maryland Tuesday night, Mariana Taylor testified in front of the Baltimore County Public School Board.
“We want all policy that would make it clear that all forms of non-disruptive silent protest is acceptable and is protected by the constitution.” Jay Jimenez of the ACLU of Maryland said.
The Supreme Court has ruled that students do not leave their first amendment rights at the classroom door. The organization is standing with Taylor to pressure the school board for a policy review. They are asking for a clarification on a policy that protects free speech and allows for non-disruptive protests during patriotic exercises.
“We want Baltimore County Public Schools to be a leader in protecting those rights and reminding students, staff and parents that students don’t lose their constitutional rights when they come through school doors,” Jimenez said.
He says it’s unclear what steps the school board will take next.
Baltimore County Public Schools did not respond to WJZ calls for comment.