A Texas high school student was expelled from school for remaining seated during the Pledge of Allegiance, although her school’s principal later reversed course and allowed her to return to class. Now her family has filed a lawsuit, the Independent is reporting.
India Landry, 17, says she has sat out for the Pledge of Allegiance “hundreds of times” without any consequences, saying she’s been doing so as a protest against police brutality and President Donald Trump. But recently, her family claims in a lawsuit, school officials at Windfern High School in Houston have been “whipped into a frenzy” over the issue of NFL players kneeling or sitting during the national anthem.
It was in this frenzied state, says the lawsuit, that Windfern’s principal, Martha Strother, called India into her office last Monday after the student’s latest refusal to stand for the pledge. There, in the presence of Strother and another, unidentified woman, she was given another chance to stand for the pledge — and she declined, according to the New York Daily News.
“I said I wouldn’t, and they said, ‘you are kicked out of here.’ The other woman said, ‘this isn’t the NFL, you won’t do this here.'”
What’s more, India alleges, school officials were so furious at India’s refusal to stand for the pledge that they threatened to call the police.
“If your [mother] does not get here in five minutes the police are coming.”
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) October 7, 2017
India’s mother, Kizzy, wasted no time in getting to the school to pick India up.
“I was actually terrified, I see what’s going on with the country. That scared the hell out of me. I thought let me hurry up and get to my baby before something happens to her.”
School officials later reversed course and allowed India to return to class on Friday, where she sat out the Pledge of Allegiance again, this time with no consequences.
India and her family, however, are not willing to accept India being allowed to go to school as enough. They have filed a lawsuit, alleging that her First Amendment rights to free speech were violated. Further, the lawsuit says Cypress Fair Independent School District did not have the authority to unilaterally and instantly expel her for anything short of being an immediate danger and that the school district does not specifically state that a student must stand for the Pledge.
Cypress Fair spokesperson Nicole Ray said she is not aware of the lawsuit, but noted that a student cannot be expelled for refusing to stand for the pledge.
Do you believe India Landry deserved to be expelled from school for refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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