A Houston civil rights attorney says he is suing the Cy-Fair school district on behalf of his client who claims she was kicked out of school for not standing for the Pledge of Allegiance.
India Landry, a Windfern High School senior, says she was in the principal’s office on Monday when the pledge came over the intercom. She says the principal told her to stand, but she refused.
“And then the pledge came on, and they both stood, and then I didn’t,” Landry said. “[The principal] asked me to, and I said I wouldn’t. And then she said 'Well, you’re kicked out of here.'”
Landry says she has not stood for the Pledge of Allegiance for years in school as a silent, political protest.
She says there has never been a teacher who reprimanded her for exercising her freedom of speech.
“I don’t think that the flag is what it says it’s for, for liberty and justice and all that,” Landry said. “It's not obviously what’s going on in America today.”
Landry’s mother, Kizzy Landry, said she had a hard time getting anyone to explain to her why her daughter was removed from school and not allowed to return.
Kizzy Landry says the principal finally returned her call and she recorded the conversation.
In the recording, the alleged principal clearly states that the reason for India's suspension is because she would not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Cy-Fair Independent School District has not confirmed if the woman speaking is the principal of Windfern High School.
The district issued the following statement:
“A student will not be removed from campus for refusing to stand for the pledge.”
The school district stated it will be handling the matter internally.
“She told India to stand, she said she wouldn’t as she had for a year and a half, through six different teachers,” said Landry’s attorney, Randall Kallinen. “The principal instantaneously kicked her out of school, this violated her First Amendment right.”
School districts in the state of Texas generally enjoy a level of immunity from lawsuits. The only exceptions are when claims involve constitutional issues.