Roc Nation has scored another legal victory.
Jabari Talbot, a sixth grader at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland, Florida, was arrested on Feb. 4 after refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. The 11-year-old was kicked out of class and suspended for three days for being disruptive and disobeying commands to calm down and leave the classroom, according to Bay News 9. Jabari was taken to a juvenile detention center and charged with disrupting a school function and resisting arrest without violence.
The incident started when a substitute teacher asked Jabari to stand up for the pledge. He reportedly told the teacher the flag was racist and the national anthem was offensive to black people.
After the story made headlines, the philanthropic division of JAY-Z’s Roc Nation rallied in support of Jabari and helped get his case dismissed.
According to Complex, Team Roc enlisted attorney Alex Spiro to handle Jabari’s case pro bono. “Jabari is a courageous and intelligent young man who deserves all the credit for standing up for his beliefs,” Spiro said in a statement. “He should’ve never been arrested or entangled in this situation—his freedom of speech rights were clearly protected under the 1st Amendment.”
— Team Roc (@teamroc) March 1, 2019
The sixth grader’s mother, Dhakira Talbot, thanked Roc Nation for its support. “My son and I are grateful for all the athletes, entertainers, Roc Nation and community of supporters that have raised awareness about this injustice and showed their support—both publicly and privately,” she said. “Although Jabari’s case has been dismissed, I do want people to know this isn’t just about my son—this prejudice happens to African-American kids all across the country. The fight isn’t over, which is why I have a civil rights complaint pending with the U.S. Department of Education. At the end of the day, I want to ensure that no child ever has to experience this injustice again and we will appreciate everyone’s continued support.”
This is just the latest victory for Team Roc, who also helped 21 Savage with his legal battle against ICE as well as the “hoodie arrests” in Tennessee.