A High School Student Suspended For Not Standing During Pledge Of Allegiance Has Sued The Principal

Mike HayesMike Hayes

India Landry, 17, chose to sit during the pledge 200 times prior to being sent home, according to the lawsuit.

A Houston high school stu­dent who was sus­pend­ed for sev­er­al days after refus­ing to stand dur­ing the Pledge of Allegiance has filed a fed­er­al civ­il rights law­suit against the school’s prin­ci­pal and the school dis­trict.

On Monday, Oct. 2, Windfern High School stu­dent India Landry was sent to the school’s prin­ci­pal office for tex­ting on her cell phone. While in the office, accord­ing to the com­plaint, the Pledge of Allegiance came on over the school’s inter­com and Landry con­tin­ued sit­ting.

When Principal Martha Strother asked Landry to stand, the 17-year-old declined. According to the com­plaint, Strother told Landry, “Well you’re kicked out­ta here.” Strother’s sec­re­tary also alleged­ly told Landry, “This is not the NFL.”

According to the com­plaint, Landry sat for the Pledge of Allegiance “around 200 times in class through six of more teach­ers with­out inci­dent.”

Landry was sent home, and three days lat­er she and her moth­er met with Strother. According to the com­plaint, Strother told them that Landry must stand for the pledge to be let back into school.

The next day, Friday, Oct. 6 — after KHOU Channel 11 aired a seg­ment on Landry and the con­tro­ver­sy — Landry was allowed back in school and told that she could sit dur­ing the pledge, accord­ing to the law­suit.

Landry’s law­suit is seek­ing judg­ment that the student’s civ­il rights were vio­lat­ed. The fam­i­ly is ask­ing for unspec­i­fied dam­ages.

Students have a First Amendment right to speak or not to speak and choos­ing to stand for the pledge is a form of expres­sion so the gov­ern­ment can­not force you to express your­self when you don’t want to,” Landry’s attor­ney, Randy Kallinen, told Houston’s KPRC Channel 2 News.