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BLUE ISLAND, Ill. — An Illinois teachers’ insistence on a student standing for the Pledge of Allegiance has left him out of a job.

Back in September, 15-year-old Shemar Cooper refused to stand for the Pledge at school, WGN reported.

His drivers ed teacher, Vince Ziebarth, was reprimanded for chastising him about the choice.

“I believe the Pledge is a sacred thing,” he told WGN.

However, that reprimand didn’t stop him from broaching the subject again months later. About a month ago, he told Shemar he wouldn’t drive with him if he continued to sit.

He was fired last week, which upset the many students who loved having him as a teacher. They started a petition to bring him back, and Shemar’s mother said kids at school are treating Shemar poorly over it.

Through all of this, Shemar is still sitting during the Pledge.

“Adults should not behave that way,” his mom, Kelly Porter, said. “That’s childish. That’s really childish for him to say my son’s behaviors … let me correct myself, my son’s First Amendment right to sit doesn’t align with his beliefs.”