Jacksonville Jaguars star running back Leonard Fournette has invited a young boy from Florida to a game after the student was detained for “disrupting the classroom” when he refused to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.
Per Newsweek, 11-year-old Jabari Talbot was taken into custody after he allegedly violated school policy at Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland, Florida. He initially faced charges of disruption, and ignoring instructions from school officials and the police.
The student was reportedly alerted to school officials by a substitute teacher after she “did not want to continue dealing with him.”
Police were eventually called to intervene after school authorities claimed Talbot had created a disturbance.
Following the incident, Jabari opted to change schools, according to CNN. An attorney for the Talbot family confirmed that he was suspended from school for three days, but now attends a private institution. The family is also planning to file a complaint with the Department of Education. No charges appear to have been filed, per CNN:
The case may apparently be over.
Florida State Attorney Brian Haas said prosecutors don’t anticipate the case will be referred to his office.
“We don’t have a case, and as far as I know it’s a closed matter,” he said.
The substitute teacher who reprimanded the boy is no longer working for Chiles Middle Academy.
In a statement obtained by Sports Illustrated, Fournette had nothing but positive sentiments for the sixth grader, and called him a “bright young student.”
“When I heard about Jabari [Talbot’s] arrest, I immediately had my team reach out so I could offer my support for this unjust moment. Jabari is a bright young student and I applaud him for the strength he has shown during this difficult situation. I know he’s a huge football fan and I’m looking forward to having him come to a Jaguars game this season.”
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