Ansonia student accused of pledging allegiance to ISIS - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Ansonia student accused of pledging allegiance to ISIS

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Homeland Security was notified about a student in Ansonia who allegedly substituted "ISIS" into the Pledge of Allegiance. (MGN photo) Homeland Security was notified about a student in Ansonia who allegedly substituted "ISIS" into the Pledge of Allegiance. (MGN photo)

A Connecticut high school got in trouble after he allegedly added the words "ISIS" into the Pledge of Allegiance.

Now, a homeland security investigation was launched after the incident involving an unidentified 15-year-old at Ansonia High School on Oct. 9, 2015.

While the investigation continues, the student's mother argues her son never said those things at all.  

By all accounts, it could be an issue of kids being kids, but when a terrorist group is involved, the federal government takes no chances.

“I think he was just trying to get a kick out of everybody,” neighbor Katherine Hiestand said.

The student involved is no longer attending Ansonia High School and has been moved to learning in an annex at the main offices.

But police said when the 15-year-old student turned the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and to the United States of America, into a pledge to ISIS.

When the incident occurred in October, police and the school district, opened up an investigation and ultimately turned it over to homeland security.

“The SRO completed a report and we forwarded it off to Homeland Security as we would with any case that we feel needs to be brought to their attention,” Ansonia Police Lt. Andrew Cota said in a statement on Thursday.

Cota went on to say the Ansonia Police Department is “longer investigating this matter.” No charges were filed by the Ansonia Police Department.

“I think he should get a slap on the wrist, saying, you know, don't do this again,” Hiestand said. “But I think he should be allowed to go back into school.”

Hiestand said she feel it was too much and so does the student's mother. Eyewitness News spoke to the child’s mother and she referred the station to the statements she made during the latest board of education meeting.

During that meeting, she said her son did not breach the code of conduct or misbehave. She even argued her son didn't make that pledge.

But even if he did, it was "an exercise of his rights to be able to say what he needs to say." He “never threatened anybody, never harmed anyone and Ansonia has not moved to deal with it."

In a statement to Eyewitness News, the district said its investigation is over and “did not deem the incident a legitimate threat to the safety of students or staff.”

“Out of an abundance of caution, the incident was reported to the appropriate authorities. As far as the Ansonia Public Schools is concerned, the matter is resolved,” Ansonia Superintendent of Schools Carol Merlone said in a statement on Thursday.  “Because student information is confidential under the law, please realize that we are not at liberty to comment further except to reiterate that we are satisfied that the situation does not pose a risk to safety at the school.”

In the meeting, she did say "the educational environment at Ansonia High School became hostile."

"It became hostile when...principal, Mr. Dobbins, was allowed to be irrational and make an impulsive decision," she stated at the meeting.

Eyewitness News took the pulse of Ansonia students.

“It's no joking matter,” Ulises Amaya, of Ansonia, said. “You shouldn't laugh about stuff like that, because it's really dangerous with what they're doing to everybody.”

“Just in case he was involved in anything, I doubt he was,” Jonathan Conniff, of Ansonia, said. “But just in case, but it’s always ok to be extra safe and be prepared.

Eyewitness News spoke with a lawyer who said, when it comes to the law, the student could freely make this pledge. The school's attorney said it took the measures it did out of an abundance of caution.

To read the full board of education meeting notes, click here.

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