A civil rights attorney has filed a lawsuit against the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in Houston on behalf of his 17-year-old client who claims she was expelled for not standing during the pledge of allegiance.
India Landry, a senior honor roll student at Windfern High School, has been sitting for the pledge without incident since the 9th grade, her parents told the New York Daily News.
However, a visit to the principal’s office on Monday resulted in her being expelled after she declined the principal’s request to stand.
India says Principal Martha Strother immediately showed her the door and threaten to call the police “if your mom does not get here in five minutes.”
“I was actually terrified, I see what’s going on with the country,” India’s mother Kizzy told the Daily News. “That scared the hell out of me. I thought let me hurry up and get to my baby before something happens to her.”
India was reportedly allowed to return to the school on Friday but says she feels uncomfortable about what happened.
Nevertheless, she plans to continue to remain seated during the pledge.
“Students cannot be instantly expelled except for being a danger,” lawyer Randall Kallinen said. “The only danger appeared to be that her sitting whipped Principal Strother into a political frenzy.”
A spokeswoman for the school district said she was not aware of the lawsuit and noted a “student will not be removed from campus for refusing to stand for the pledge of allegiance.”