A lawyer has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Houston, Texas, high school student who says she was expelled for refusing to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Windfern High School senior India Landry told CBS affiliate KHOU that she was in the principal’s office on Monday when the Pledge of Allegiance came on over the intercom.
“I wouldn’t stand because it goes against everything I believe in.”
Principal Martha Strother told India to stand, but she remained seated just as she had for approximately 200 other times while attending the school.
“I wouldn’t stand because it goes against everything I believe in,” the 17-year-old told KHOU.
When she refused to stand, Inida told the Houston Chronicle that Strother said, “Stand up or you’re out of here.”
India was sent home after the Pledge of Allegiance that day and her mother subsequently had a phone conversation with the principal.
“She can’t come to my school if she won’t stand for the pledge,” the principal said during the phone conversation, according to Kizzy Landry, India’s mother.
India’s mother told KHOU that the principal also cited India’s grades and absences as reasons for her expulsion.
“All of a sudden, you have all of these issues with my child, but if it was like this, you would’ve said something a long time ago,” Kizzy Landry told KHOU.
As a result, the Houston Chronicle reports that the Landry family filed a lawsuit against the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District and Strother on Saturday, claiming the school violated India’s First Amendment rights.