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Fla. teacher returns in pledge case

MIAMI — A fourth-grade teacher has returned to the classroom after a suspension for requiring one of her students, a Jehovah’s Witness, to join in the Pledge of Allegiance on 9/11, school district officials said Thursday.

Anne Daigle-McDonald was placed on an alternative assignment, suspended without pay, and ordered to complete diversity training after an investigation into charges that she placed her hands on the student to bring his hand to his heart for the pledge, forced him to participate against his religious beliefs, violated his constitutional rights, and made derogatory remarks, the Hernando County School District said.

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McDonald has returned to teaching, but it was not clear whether she returned to the same class at Explorer K-8 in Spring Hill in the Tampa Bay area, district spokesman Roy Gordon said Thursday.

According to a district report, the boy’s parents complained Sept. 12 that McDonald physically forced the student to put his hand on his heart for the pledge, even though she knew he was a Jehovah’s Witness.

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