A Pennsylvania substitute teacher has been barred from working in the Carlisle Area School District after reprimanding a student who refused to stand for the pledge of allegiance.

Last week, Michael Smith, a Carlisle student, said that his friend Admir refused to stand during the pledge of allegiance. Admir, who is Bosnian-American, was apparently upset about “wars going on in the Middle East,” according to Smith.

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When Admir refused to stand, the substitute teacher berated him in front of the class.

“And if you don’t stand up, you’d better have a good reason why,” the substitute said in a conversation captured by Smith on his cell phone.

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The teacher then remarked: “Well OK, then maybe you would just like to leave the country.”

Smith tells WHTM-TV that Admir has been protesting the anthem since “sixth grade.” Smith started the hashtag #WeSitWithAdmir to show support for his friend and his protest. Admir, who didn’t want to go on camera for the WHTM-TV report, commented that his school and classmates have been very supportive of his decision.