Schools

Texas Senior Suspended for Not Standing for Pledge of Allegiance

Lawsuit claims administrators were "whipped into a frenzy" by media coverage of NFL players' protests.

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broken thoughts/flickr

Windfern High School, near Houston, suspended senior India Landry last week because she refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, KHOU reports. Landry had reportedly refrained from standing for months, but the school did not treat it as a problem before now.

According to Landry's mother, the principal told her that her daughter would not be allowed to return to school until she agreed to stand for the pledge.

Landry's mother has now filed a lawsuit against the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. The suit says the principal relented and allowed Landry to return to class after a segment aired about her suspension on the local news. But the Landrys had already decided to file a lawsuit seeking unspecificed damages for a violation of her constitutional rights, according to The Washington Post.

The lawsuit alleges that school administrators were "whipped into a frenzy by the publicity of African-American National Football League players kneeling for the national anthem." It also says that Landry was told her school wasn't the NFL and that she would stand for the pledge like the "other African-American students."

A spokesperson for the district declined to confirm or deny the details surrounding the incident, telling Reason the district had not been served with the suit yet but that they would "continue to review the situation internally." According to the spokesperson, Landry is attending classes again.

The district's official policy is that a student may choose not to stand if they have their parent's permission—which Landry had. But even asking for parental permission is a silly policy. Forcing anyone to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance runs contrary to the values the American flag is supposed to represent. Schools should be places for learning, not for mandatory displays of patriotism.

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  1. It also says that Landry was told her school wasn’t the NFL and that she would stand for the pledge like the “other African-American students.”

    I can’t tell if this is believable or not.

    1. I have a hard time believing that they would come right out and make that final statement. That’s a special kind of stupid to say something like that.

      But, I don’t doubt for a second that the school would have made the initial statement about how the school wasn’t the NFL. That’s the kind of line that unintentionally makes the opposition’s point perfectly. Seems very likely to me that some administrator would say that without realizing the very fact that the school isn’t the NFL is exactly the reason why the student can do it if she wants and the player can do it at the whim of his team owner.

      1. Teachers aren’t very bright.

        1. +1

          They don’t ever leave the silo that’s become education system. Cradle to grave government programming & pay. How would they ever know they could think outside the box if they’ve never been outside of it.

          1. How would they ever know they could think outside the box if they’ve never been outside of it.

            “Whoa, whoa, whoa, you mean there’s an outside to this box?! What heresy is this!”

        2. School of Journalism is where you go when you can’t hack a real (STEM) degree.

          School of Education is where you go when you get booted out of Journalism.

          1. a real (STEM) degree

            Oh, for fuck’s sake.

  2. The principal should have to stand and salute while someone reads the majority and concurring opinions from West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette.

    1. How quickly they forget. I learned about this ruling in a class in high school.

      1. Well it’s certainly not what they are teaching in HS anymore, so how could they know?

        1. A 10yo girl walked up to my mother while she walked her little dog, “Your dog is so cute,” she said “is it a boy or a girl? I don’t want to assume its gender.”

          I died a little bit when I heard that story. It honestly makes me sad. Can’t put my finger on why exactly but it does.

          1. I assume your mom told her that dogs don’t have gender because that’s a social construct, and since the dog had its reproductive organs removed, the question of sex was also moot.

          2. Maybe somebody should explain to her that dogs have 2 very specific genders. One that needs sex only when it goes into heat, and one that will hump a couch cushion at any given moment (usually when on the couch next to your grandma).

  3. It is appropriate for her to stand in respect for the traditions of the class, school, state, and country. She is not, and should not, be required to SAY the pledge as that goes beyond respect.

    When I go to OTHER countries, I stand in respect for their traditions. I don’t sing their songs or say their prayers. We should show our fellow citizens the same respect we would show the citizens of another country.

    1. I agree, people should stand in respect her and we should show the same respect in other places. But, we shouldn’t/can’t require it. It’s absolutely appropriate for her to stand. Also, it’s absolutely acceptable if she chooses not to. By saying she shouldn’t be required to say the pledge, you imply she should be required to stand. I don’t know if that was the intended message or not. But, no, she shouldn’t be required to stand either.

      Her actions don’t magically crap upon the flag, the nation, the military, etc. They don’t make someone’s sacrifices invalid. They simply reflect upon her. If she wants to send that message she can. And we can all judge her by her actions.

      1. When I was in school, we had to do all kinds of things that we didn’t want to do. It’s the nature of school. Frankly, if my property taxes are paying for her education, she’s not only going to stand but say the whole Pledge. Even the parts that weren’t written by a socialist.

        1. Nothing says honest respectful like compulsory nationalism under threat of force.

          Sometimes things can be done to prove a point. Like how a mandatory education (under threat of force) from a government institution shouldn’t subvert the First Amendment without realize how hypocritical and stupid that makes it look.

          If anything, I think it’s more patriotic that she outed the unpatriotic school administration.

        2. I get your handle now.

        3. “Under God”? I like when they shout that part. So God can hear them.

          1. Me too.

            1. The shouting of “under ghod” is to drown out those of thus who don’t say that, and have already moved on to the next phrase. It leads to a train wreck, not unlike those ecumenical Christian attempts to say their lord’s prayer , when the Catholics say “trespasses” and some Protestants use “debts,” then everything derails over whether to say the doxology, and how.

              Kevin R

        4. End compulsory attendance laws and then what you’re saying WON’T be slavery.

        5. It is literally impossible to force someone to pledge anything. The whole point of the pledge is not going through the motions of standing and saying the words, but actually living that out through the rest of your life. It’s a loyalty oath, which is a promise, and a promise under duress is meaningless. The fact that we elevate the symbolic act so far above its meaning tells you how screwed up we really are.

      2. If she wants to send that message she can. And we can all judge her by her actions.

        I’ve never understood the need to be the center of attention myself, certainly over something so trivial. But yeah, this seems appropriate.

      3. Being forced to perform gestures of respect is not the same as showing respect.

        I also question whether respect is due to the tradition of the pledge of allegiance. I don’t really think that the tradition of forcing or pressuring children to take a daily loyalty oath is worthy of respect.

    2. “When I go to OTHER countries, I stand in respect for their traditions.”

      Good for you. But this is your choice to do so. Should you be compelled by agents of the state to stand in respect for the traditions of other countries, or even your own?

    3. This is the worst libertarian chat room ever. No one should respect government schools.

      1. Bro, high school football teams and Friday night booze cruises? All buh-bye without Gov schools.

        1. Funny, my (since closed) Catholic high school had a 23-0-1 unbeaten streak during the time my older brother and I attended. He was on the football team, although not a starter. I was on the debate team (state JV champs one year.) We only ever had the one head football coach, who garnered 11 league titles, four unbeaten seasons, posted a 24-game unbeaten streak from 1969-71 and produced one NFL player…

          After the senior prom ended, most of us embarked upon a ferry that motored around the Great South Bay, while we drank beer, danced to a rock band, and/or snuggled under blankets doing….whatever. Some of us were even of legal drinking age, which was 18 at the time.

          Needless to say, no government was involved. Nobody fell overboard, so we didn’t have to call the USCG.

          Kevin R

    4. I was raised in a religion that forbade standing or pledging to any political entity (yeah the JWs). I remember a school assembly in 1962 when, at age 6, I was the only person out of a hundred seated as everyone pledged. Over the course of my government schooling I endured derision from students and teachers but I refused to conform even in high school when I had completely left the cult because I do not respect the tradition or the people who attempt to enforce it. Those experiences left me with a lifelong suspicion of authority, government, church or cultural. As noted above, the church took this shit to the Supreme court and won a 1st amendment ruling. This has been settled law for a very long time. No she cannot be compelled to pledge, genuflect or stand in a government school. And she cannot be forced to respect a tradition she does not find worthy of respect.

  4. If I was on social media, I would make it my business to get that principal fired from his job at the district for being a white supremacist. I would then make it my business to get Landry’s mother fired from wherever she works for being an anti-American, troop-hating commie agitator.

    1. Intentionally getting people fired seems like anti-American, commie agitator talk to me. You’re just trying to help your immigrant friends to take them.

    2. You don’t consider H&R social media?

      1. More like anti-social media. Am I right, people?

    3. Actually, the principal would be the commie, for subverting the Constitution, and the mother is the patriot for exposing the suppression of American freedoms.

      1. Then I guess that just leaves the daughter as the white supremacist.

  5. a student may choose not to stand if they have their parent’s permission

    Of course.

    1. I do not envy the person who had to compose the permission slip asking the school to please respect a student’s constitutional rights.

      1. Even requiring the permission slip is questionable under the ruling.

        1. Agreed.

  6. All you Red faced, White as a sheet and Blue Balled Bastards who want to live in a country where the government forces it’s citizens to stand for the national anthem should move to North Korea!
    You will fit right in!
    We won’t miss you!

    1. Whose sense of patriotism is so shallow that some knuckle-heads showing disrespect is an outrage? Who gives a crap? The only poor reflection is on themselves. Laugh at them or, better yet, ignore them. If they want to do something effective about “racial justice,” then the highly paid athletes should get themselves down to city hall and try to work for change with the Democrats who run the majority of cities where the more serious abuses occur. The Raven players should be kneeling at the Baltimore mayor’s office.

      1. Part of it a clear war on everything American. A few people kneel, so what. Its when it becomes a clear leftist attempt to say and act like everything Americans do is racist and should be stopped.

        Americans are just sick of it.

        While I agree that indoctrination of kids is what the state is good at, teaching kids why you might want to have common values with other Americans and let them decide to do it or not.

        On the flip side, kids are kids and are generally stupid. They need boundaries to learn about life and how to act in society so they don’t get hit in the face. I think “a kids don’t get to make the rules” plan but educating them as to why things are done is the way to go.

        This is why private schools would far superior. Parents could decide if they want their kids to attend a no-pledge of allegiance school or not.

        1. Americans are just sick of it.

          All of ’em?

          1. All REAL Americans, commie. /sarc

      2. They could I suppose. But their protests will fall on deaf ears because glorification (and overfunding) of police culture and mass incarceration is very much a bipartisan effort.

        Or they could do exactly what they’re doing and bring awareness to their cause at historic proportions.

  7. “School should be a place for learning,” is true, but it’s always been simply a place where people over a certain age get to tell people under a certain age where and when to sit, speak, walk, eat, study, etc..

    School is a place where authority is the primary force and obedience to that authority is the primary lesson. That’s how it’s always been.

  8. Wait… The pledge in high school? They do that in Texas?

    In the 70s/80s, where I grew up, it was elementary only.

    We did have one Jehovah’s witness in my elem. school that sat for the pledge. We thought it was weird, but nobody hassled him over it.

    1. They did that in NJ in the late 90’s. My school played the alma mater over the intercom afterwards, the words and tune of which I have completely forgotten.

    2. Same here. It was gone by 7th grade.

  9. The rest of the students just want to learn, not put up with this girl’s virtue signalling. India Landry’s antics are why education in this country has gone to shit.

    1. I don’t know if it’s funnier that you think that “the rest of the students just want to learn,” or that education in this country hasn’t always been shit.

    2. Yeah. That’s why.

    3. How does “putting up with” her sitting interfere with their ability to learn? I don’t know what message she is really trying to send with her sitting, or even if it was her idea or her mother’s. I agree it seems kind of silly. But “live and let live” sounds like a better lesson than intolerance for those expressing different or unusual opinions.

    4. Isn’t the pledge itself “virtue signalling” for at least 90% of the students? “Look at me, I’m a patriot!” or, perhaps, “look at me, I’m compliant!”

  10. When I was growing up in the 90s, kids in my Texas high school would sit from time to time and it wouldn’t be a problem. Living in a rural area, the school was mostly white, very few blacks or Latinos. People would sit cause they just didn’t want to stand. I’ll admit, I did too. Can’t tell you how many times I stood and didn’t recite either the Pledge of Allegiance or the Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas Flag.

    Just funny how when black people start to do the same things as whites that it becomes a problem. Never an issue for years and now it’s an assault on our freedoms and disrespecting the flag, troops, veterans, etc.

    1. Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas Flag

      Well, there goes my joke about what if Texas seceded. This is a thing?!

      1. Very much so. When I was in school it didn’t have the “one state under God” part.

        http://bit.ly/2kHkscP – I had to shorten the URL but this goes to the Texas state library site on the pledge.

        1. Wow, it took them until 2007 to throw “God” in there.

          But yeah I’m struggling to recall if my state’s flag appeared anywhere in my schools. I don’t think so. Maybe when the governor graced us with his presence once.

        2. That must have before 1984, because I don’t remember ever having to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas Flag in school, from K-12.

          1. I knew Texas had this, but I had never read it.

            Wow! A Texican calling his homeland a state, instead of The Republic…? That amazes me!

            Kevin R

  11. Fun fact: Francis Bellamy is credited with providing the final pledge except for “Under God” which was added later. The Bellamy salute which is a hand raised like a Nazi and Italian fascist salute was later changed to holding a hand over your heart. Of course, the Fascists are likely to have taken that from a Roman salute but whatever.

    So this kid should have come back to school and raised her hand in a Nazi salute to say the pledge of allegiance.

    Anywho… I think teachers should convince kids why common values and shared American traditions can be important and then let kids voluntarily do the pledge if they want. Schools just really need to keep kids from causing disruptions and teach them as much important stuff as they can for 12+ years. All these distractions just cause kids to be dumber.

    1. I think teachers should avoid teaching anything having to do with “common American values.” They’re really bad at it.

  12. So after all the NFL fuss we *finally* get an example of government-mandated patriotism.

  13. Guess who’s getting a free ride to PhD?

  14. The district’s official policy is that a student may choose not to stand if they have their parent’s permission

    One supposes the district’s official policy is also that a student may choose to have an abortion without their parent’s permission.

    1. One does? Why? Are there a lot of abortions happening in high schools these days?

      1. One supposes the abortions, however many, are not actually performed in the schools.

    2. This is Texas. Of course it has a parental notification law.

  15. School Districts are notorious for making some of the dumbest decisions of record. This is a choice, it isn’t law.

  16. Black people have better reasons for not being patriotic than pretty much everyone else, and we ought to respect that.
    Besides, half the time the dipshits saluting the flag have no idea what it stands for other than Tribe.

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