Colin Kaepernick’s stand against police brutality has inspired young people around the world. The movement reached as far as Australia where a young girl was recently disciplined for refusing to stand for the Australian pledge. Conservative forces are now fighting back as Texas’ Attorney General has gotten involved in the expulsion of a Texas student.
The student, India Landry, of Houston, Texas, was expelled for refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. According to Landry, “I felt the flag doesn’t represent what it stands for, liberty and justice for all. I don’t feel what is going on in the country, so it was my choice to remain seated, silently.”
The Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District responded by expelling the young student. Landry and her mother responded by suing the school for violating her free speech.
This is where Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton became involved. Paxton’s office filed a document supporting the school district. The letter claimed that students are permitted to not stand for the pledge, but they must have a signed letter from their parents. Landry did not have this letter and was not aware of the need for one.
Paxton continued, “Requiring the pledge to be recited at the start of every school day has the laudable result of fostering respect for our flag and a patriotic love of our country.”
Paxton is up for re-election in the fall and police protests are an important issue in Texas. Senatorial candidates Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke have had a contentious back and forth on the matter. The recent police-involved shooting of Botham Jean has exacerbated the issue.
Landry and her mother are undeterred by the punishment and hopes to push ahead with the lawsuit. Kizzy Landry says of her daughter, “Some people are scared to do this. She’s very brave.”