HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The state of Texas is supporting a Houston-area school that expelled a student after she refused to stand for the flag during the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stepped in on Tuesday to defend the school district in its lawsuit with the student, India Landry.
A post on the Texas Attorney General Facebook page said: “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,” Attorney General 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. The district court should uphold the Education Code and the right of parents to determine whether their children will recite the Pledge of Allegiance.” The statement continued on the Texas Attorney General web site, “School children cannot unilaterally refuse to participate in the pledge.”
Landry’s lawsuit filed last year says her Constitutional rights were violated when she was expelled for not standing.
“I don’t think the flag is for what it says it’s for, liberty and justice and all that,” she told KHOU-TV at the time. “It’s not obviously what’s going on in America today.”
The Attorney General’s office added that there are provisions in Texas statutes that allow for parents to guide schools on whether or not their children should be excused from reciting the pledge.
“Texas is among 26 states with similar statutes that make reciting the Pledge of Allegiance a regular part of every school day,” the Attorney General’s office said in a statement. “Furthermore, 16 other states have statutes that allow for time to be set aside for students who wish to say the Pledge of Allegiance. On written request from a student’s parent of guardian, a Texas public or charter school can excuse a child from participating in the pledge.”