Lawsuit claims principal expelled student for refusing to stand for Pledge

17-year-old India Landry says she’s done this more than 200 times in class in front of six or more teachers without anyone saying a word. When the Pledge of Allegiance is recited she remains in her seat.

“Because I don’t believe the flag represents justice and that’s what they want us to stand for,” Landry said. “I don’t believe it represents that.”

On Monday, October 3, the 17-year-old says she was in the principal’s office for having a cell phone when the pledge was recited over the intercom.

“I didn’t stand. She said you need to stand. I said I won’t do that then she said well you’re kicked out of here,” said Landry.

“This is a right guaranteed by the constitution. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the oldest litigated rights,” said attorney Randall Kallinen.

The defendants in the federal civil rights suit are Cypress-Fairbanks I.S.D. and Windfern High School head principal Martha Strother.

The principal did a 180 on Friday morning and allowed Landry to return to school, Kallinen said, but didn’t know what prompted her change of heart.

Cypress-Fairbanks I.S.D. sent us this statement, “I am not aware of a lawsuit at this time. A student will not be removed from campus for refusing to stand for the Pledge. We will address this situation internally."

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