Texas AG supports school board decision to expel student for sitting during pledge of allegiance

When Texas student India Landry, simply sat during the pledge of allegiance at her high school, she knew for sure that she was practicing her free speech and the rights afforded her by the Constitution.

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While Colin Kaepernick faced backlash for taking a knee and starting the movement protesting racial injustice, Landry didn’t think her school would try to silence her. But Landry was expelled from Windfern High School for not standing and saluting the American flag at school.

“I felt the flag doesn’t represent what it stands for, liberty and justice for all and I don’t feel what is going on in the country, so it was my choice to remain seated, silently,” said Landry. “It was a silent protest.”

Landry’s family is suing the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District for violating her free speech and the denial of due process.

The Landry family has a fight ahead especially since the State Attorney General Ken Paxton agreed with the Katy school board on its decision to expel the student for failing to stand during the pledge of allegiance. Paxton turned in a document taking sides with the school district.

Paxton said in a filing that Landry’s parents failed to submit a document that would allow for her to forgo standing during the pledge.

Paxton referred to a Supreme Court decision saying that government is invested in preserving “the national flag as an unalloyed symbol of our country.”

A recent poll from Quinnipiac University found that 54 percent of Texas likely voters “disapprove” of NFL players who kneel during the anthem.

The Texas Tribune reports that Paxton released a statement tuesday stating, “school children cannot unilaterally refuse to participate in the pledge.”

“Requiring the pledge to be recited at the start of every school day has the laudable result of fostering respect for our flag and a patriotic love of our country,” Paxton said. “This case is about providing for the saying of the pledge of allegiance while respecting the parental right to direct the education of children.”

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Landry and her mother, Kizzy, are moving forward with the suit and claim the student was harassed and sent to the principal’s office for sitting during the Pledge of Allegiance.

“I support her 100 percent and I’m actually proud of her because some people won’t stand up for something like this,” Kizzy Landry told the Houston Chronicle. “Some people are scared to do this. She’s very brave.”

Landry’s case is set for a trial in 2019.

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