NEEDVILLE, Texas (CBS Houston) — A high school student was suspended for not standing during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Fifteen-year-old Needville High School student Mason Michalec says he had to serve a two-day in-school suspension for refusing to stand for the Pledge. He did it because he is “really tired of our government taking advantage of us.”

“I basically said it from the time I was in kindergarten to earlier this year and that’s when I finally decided I was done saying it,” the teen told KHOU-TV.

Mason said he was written up by the teacher after she noticed he wasn’t standing alongside his classmates.

“She said, ‘This is my classroom. This is the principal’s request, you’re going to stand.’ And so I still didn’t stand and she told me she was going to write me up,” he told KHOU.

Mason said the school’s principal threatened him that he will serve another in-school suspension if he continues to refuse to stand.

“I’m angry, frustrated and annoyed that they would try to write me up for something I have the right to do,” Mason explained to KHOU.

Residents in the small town of Needville were divided on the high school suspending Mason.

“If you live in the United States, the greatest country in the world, you should support the United States,” Jimmie Pekar told KHOU.

Dean Reese, a veteran, believes punishing the teen sends the wrong message.

“The kid’s well-spoken and he’s well-informed,” Reese told KHOU. “It’s not like he’s ignorant. He’s not doing it to make people mad, he’s doing it because of his personal beliefs.”

School officials would not comment on the incident.

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