Student 'Removed From Class' for Allegedly Cutting Down Israeli Flag

A student making a public statement about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has gone viral on Twitter and Reddit after a video emerged of her appearing to cut down the Israeli flag from a school display.

According to a report from The Reading Chronicle, the Maiden Erlegh School in the United Kingdom has opened an internal investigation into the incident with the unidentified schoolgirl.

The girl that changed Israel flag to Palestinian flag got pulled out of lesson and got told, what she did was “an act of terror” and that “they’re scared of her”

— A 🐼 (@Khanage9) May 17, 2021

Footage of the alleged incident surfaced on Twitter on Monday. The video begins with a uniformed school girl wearing a hijab standing on a desk reaching for a flag display in the classroom. She is cheered on by classmates watching and filming her as she appears to cut the Israeli flag off of the string it is attached to.

Students continue to clap and encourage the girl until the flag is torn off of the display. The video ends with the girl holding the remains of the Israeli flag in her hand as another student loudly yells, "Yay!"

Although not shown in the video, an additional photo posted in the Twitter thread shows the flag of Palestine taped in place of the removed Israeli flag.

She goes to Maiden Erlegh School in Reading

— A 🐼 (@Khanage9) May 17, 2021

The caption claims that the student was facing administrative consequences for her actions: "The girl that changed Israel flag to Palestinian flag got pulled out of lesson and got told, what she did was 'an act of terror' and that 'they're scared of her.'"

The Twitter video, which has been viewed nearly 100,000 times since posting, also appeared on Reddit's r/PublicFreakout page. Many on both platforms voiced their political beliefs on the conflict, which, as of Thursday, halted after Israel and Hamas reached a cease-fire.

Others slammed the school for allegedly removing the student in the video from class.

"'Act of terror'? Embarrassing. You have to be better," one person wrote on Twitter. "Overreaction from the school actually," another wrote on Reddit.

Others felt that the school should move for a stronger punishment based on her alleged actions.

"As I would expect if anyone did that to any flag. Disrupting class and destruction of school property. Nice," one commented on Reddit.

According to a statement from the Maiden Erlegh School administration to its school community obtained by The Reading Chronicle, headteacher Andy Johnson acknowledged the incident and discredited accusations made on social media.

"We are continuing to investigate the matter further, but I do need to let you know that many of the accusations that have been made about the actions and words of school staff are simply not true," Johnson said.

"This, of course, is the problem with social media; messages are posted and those reading assume that posts are correct and accurate and pass them on to others."

Johnson also emphasized the pride he takes in the "diverse, harmonious and tolerant school community" Maiden Erlegh fosters.

"Harmful [rumors] based on falsehoods only destroy, we are determined to move forward and build each other up," he concluded.

Chief Executive of the Maiden Erlegh Trust Mary Davies also told the outlet that "this incident, like all others, was dealt with in line with our procedures and in our usual measured and fair way.

"The school is now putting in support for those affected and working alongside the students so that the community can move on positively," Davies added.

Newsweek reached out to the Maiden Erlegh School and their Governing Body, but they did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Israel Palestine flag school display
A student allegedly was removed from class after replacing an Israeli flag with a Palestinian flag on a school display in an act supportive of Palestine, much like the demonstrator pictured. PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP/Getty Images

In April, footage of a student cutting down a rainbow LGBTQ Pride flag from a school display also went viral. Reports claim that the flag was hung up ahead of a Gay-Straight Alliance event between schools in the district during Diversity Week.

Many criticized the act as a hate crime, and the school confirmed they were launching an internal investigation.