A Black teen in Texas is facing opposition from the state’s attorney general after she was expelled from school for sitting down during the Pledge of Allegiance. State Attorney General Ken Paxton has challenged the student’s decision — a move similar to the NFL’s, which called out its players for kneeling during the National Anthem.
India Landry chose to sit during the pledge at Windfern High School, which is part of the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent District school in Harris County. Landry drew inspiration for her action from Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who have knelt, raised fists and sat during the singing of the National Anthem before games. The teen was trying to take a seat for what she believed.
“I felt the flag doesn’t represent what it stands for, liberty and justice for all, and I don’t feel what is going on in the country, so it was my choice to remain seated, silently,” Landry said to the Houston Chronicle. “It was a silent protest.”
Under Texas Law, students need permission to withdraw from participating in the pledge. The school board in Katy, Texas then responded to Landry’s move by expelling her. She is suing the district for free speech violations and denial of due process, the New York Daily News reported.
State Attorney General Paxton has publicly declared his support of the Katy school board. Landry’s filing presented an opportunity for the Texas district to examine a student’s choice to protest strong patriotic symbols such as the American flag and National Anthem. The case could also set a national precedent on the treatment of students who choose to sit, not stand, for the pledge.