Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Texas student sues school over Pledge of Allegiance dispute

India's lawyer says administrators at Windfern High School had been'whipped into a frenzy by NFL players kneeling protests during the national anthem Texas student sues school over Pledge of Allegiance dispute
Melissa Porter | 09 October, 2017, 22:46

According to ABC News, India was able to return to school on Friday and was also told that she could sit during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Texas senior India Landry says she was forced to leave her high school after refusing to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance earlier this month, something she says she's done for years, KHOU reports.

India says she was taken to the office of Assistant Principal Penny Irwin-Fitt, who told her to call her mother to come pick her up and said a district police officer would escort her from the building if her mom didn't get there in five minutes.

"I don't think the flag is for what it says it's for, liberty and justice and ... all that", she told KHOU.

The lawsuit was filed Saturday against the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District and the principal of India's school in Houston, the Associated Press reported.

India says her protest was inspired by both police brutality and Donald Trump and that she was surprised when she was finally reprimanded: "I said I wouldn't [stand], and they said you are kicked out of here", said India.

Nicole Ray, a spokeswoman for the school district said she was not aware of the lawsuit and noted a "student will not be removed from campus for refusing to stand for the Pledge".

Thus, according to the guidelines in the Barnette case, it has been made clear that schools can not force students to recite or stand for the Pledge of Allegiance (including standing silently while others recite the pledge).

Although the school reportedly reached out to India's mother offering to let her return to school and sit for the Pledge after her story made the local news, the family is still moving forward with the lawsuit.

Besides the inconvenience and embarrassment of being kicked out of school, Landry said, the temporary expulsion could have long-term effects on India's academic standing.

India returned to school that Friday but has been fearful since.

India tells The News that she started sitting for the pledge in ninth grade. They are represented by prominent Houston civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen. "It's not obviously what's going on in America today".

The school district did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

"She was damaged. You can't just throw people out of school", Kallinen said.

The coverage apparently led Strother to reverse her decision to expel India, as she called the Landrys the next morning, according to the complaint.

Vice President Pence, the former governor of IN, attended an Indianapolis Colts game (against Kaepernick's former team, the 49ers). Critics say National Football League owners are blackballing him for his protests.