Inspired by banished NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Baltimore middle schooler Mariana Taylor, 11, wanted to protest sexism and racism in America by taking a knee, an act that wasn't well received by her teacher. In February, as Taylor began kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance, the instructor reprimanded her in front of the class, saying she was required to stand. The confrontation left Taylor in tears.
"Mariana became upset right then and there. She was allowed to leave the classroom upset, the teacher did not suggest any kind of support that she go to the guidance counselor. It wasn't until her second teacher could not calm her down that she was supportive of Mariana," Mariana's mother, Joanne Taylor, told CBS Baltimore.
The incident caught the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in May and now, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who expressed support for the girl.
"It takes courage to exercise your right to protest injustice, especially when you're 11! Keep up the good work Mariana," Clinton wrote in a tweet Wednesday, highlighting a NowThis video that features Taylor recently testifying before a school board on July 10.
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It takes courage to exercise your right to protest injustice, especially when you’re 11! Keep up the good work Mariana. https://t.co/vnGheuWyJ0— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 15, 2018