A Texas high school student who was suspended for sitting during the Pledge of Allegiance is suing her school, saying it violated her civil rights.
India Landry began protesting the pledge last year, her attorney said, sitting down “some 200 times,” according to Houston’s Channel 2 News.
But when Landry was sent to her principal’s office on Oct. 2 for texting in class, she refused to stand for the pledge as it played over the intercom and the principal sent her home, said Landry’s attorney, Randall Kallinen.
"The school secretary said, 'this ain't the NFL' and the principal said 'you have to stand,' and she said, 'no I do not have to stand' and she was instantaneously kicked out of school,” Kallinen told Channel 2. “They told her she could not come back until she stood for the pledge.”
Landry was suspended from Windfern High School for four days before the principal changed her mind and said Landry did not have to stand for the pledge.
The following day, Landry’s mother filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against her daughter’s school district and principal.
Protests like Landry’s have been gaining traction at high schools across the nation as the NFL protests during the national anthem continue to make headlines. At another Texas high school, two football players were kicked off their team for kneeling during the anthem.
"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," Kallinen said.
The high school released a statement saying that it has not been served with a lawsuit yet, and confirmed that Landry is currently attending classes.
President Trump and Vice President Pence have waded deep into the issue, and on Tuesday the White House applauded the NFL's reported rule change to force players to stand.