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Texas State Gov't Comes to Aid of School Sued for Expelling Student over Pledge

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The state of Texas is taking a bold stance on the Pledge of Allegiance, with Attorney General Ken Paxton defending a school’s expulsion of a student who sat during the pledge without getting prior permission from her parents.

Last fall, student India Landry was expelled from Windfern High School in Houston for refusing to stand several times for the pledge, according to the Houston Chronicle.

She said that she was inspired by NFL players, like former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during the national anthem before football games.

With the help of her parents, she sued Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District claiming that her free speech rights have been violated and the expulsion was racially motivated.

The lawsuit specifically accuses the principal, vice principal, secretary and two teachers of “singling her out because she was black,” according to the Chronicle.

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The attorney general’s court filing in defense of the school expressed the importance of respecting the flag.

“The United States flag represents the values of liberty and justice that form the foundation of this country and are defended by our armed forces,” the court filing states, according to the Chronicle. “It is thus deserving of the highest levels of reverence and respect, which is expressed through every recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.”

The filing noted that Texas law allows parents to inform schools they don’t wish their children to stand for the pledge, according to the Chronicle. However, the Windfern student had no such authorization.

“Standing is not optional, however, for students whose parents have not filed the letter, according to the court papers,” the Chronicle reported.

Do you agree with the school's decision?

Paxton explained the legality of the expulsion in a news release.

“School children cannot unilaterally refuse to participate in the pledge,” Paxton said in the statement.

“The Texas Legislature protected that interest by giving the choice of whether an individual student will recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the student’s parent or guardian,” Paxton said.

Of course, the left is trying to obfuscate this legal matter by claiming Paxton is a racist.

“His decision, as usual, is rooted in racism,” Ashton Woods, lead organizer of Black Lives Matter Houston, told the Chronicle.

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Andre Segura, legal director for the ACLU of Texas, told the newspaper that Paxton is trying to “foster division” by defending the school.

“Once again, it appears that Ken Paxton is using his authority to foster division within our state through political posturing,” Segura said.

However, the left is missing the point. The critics failed to dispute Paxton’s assertion that the school was well within its legal rights to expel an uncooperative student who refused to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance without a letter from a parent.

Texas should be applauded for its decision to stand with, and stand for, the Pledge of Allegiance.

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Malachi Bailey is a writer from Ohio with a background in history, education and philosophy. He has led multiple conservative groups and is dedicated to the principles of free speech, privacy and peace.
Malachi Bailey is a writer from Ohio with a passion for free speech, privacy and peace. He graduated from the College of Wooster with a B.A. in History. While at Wooster, he served as the Treasurer for the Wooster Conservatives and the Vice President for the Young Americans for Liberty.
Topics of Expertise
Politics, History




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