“You’re Kicked Out!”: Child Expelled for Sitting During the Pledge — Lawsuit
HOUSTON (CN) – A black Texas high school student and her mom claim in a federal lawsuit that the principal expelled her last week for sitting through the Pledge of Allegiance, after which the school secretary told her, “This is not the NFL.”
Kizzy Landry sued Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District and Windfern High School Principal Martha Strother on behalf of her daughter India Landry, a senior at the school, on Saturday in Houston federal court. They are represented by prominent Houston civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen.
With more than 115,000 students spread over 91 campuses in suburban Houston, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD is the third largest school district in Texas. Its student body is 44.8 percent Hispanic, 24.6 percent white, 17.8 percent African-American and 9.3 percent Asian, according to the district.
The Landrys say in the lawsuit, which identifies India by her initials, that India had sat through the Pledge of Allegiance around 200 times in the district’s classrooms without incident before Oct. 2.
According to the complaint, she was sitting in Strother’s office at 9:30 a.m. that day with Strother and the school secretary Mrs. Walters when the pledge was recited over the school intercom.
“I.L. continued to sit. Principal Strother upon seeing this immediately expelled I.L. from school saying ‘Well you’re kicked outta here,’” the lawsuit states. (Emphasis in original.)
India says she was taken to the office of Assistant Principal Penny Irwin-Fitt, who told her to call her mother to come pick her up and said a district police officer would escort her from the building if her mom didn’t get there in five minutes.
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“Mrs. Walters said, ‘This is not the NFL.’ Ms. Fitt said India was going to stand