India Landry, a senior at Windfern High School in Houston, Texas, was expelled from her school after refusing to stand for the pledge of allegiance. Now, Landry is suing the school.
According to the New York Daily News, Landry had been sitting during the pledge since ninth grade and continued to abstain following the outbreak of controversy pertaining to the NFL and the national anthem. But on Monday of last week, she was immediately removed from the school's premises by Principal Martha Strother over her protest.
India was told that "if your mom does not get here in five minutes the police are coming."
"I was actually terrified, I see what's going on with the country," said Kizzy Landry, India's mother. "That scared the hell out of me. I thought let me hurry up and get to my baby before something happens to her."
According to the Washington Post, Kizzy and Strother had argued over India's protest. Strother insisted that sitting was “disrespectful and should not be allowed” and suggested that she “write about justice and African Americans being killed" instead of protesting. When reports on the story began breaking, Strother changed her tune and and allowed India back to the school with permission to sit during the pledge. The Landry's began mounting the suit immediately.
India returned to school that Friday but has been fearful since. Nevertheless, she plans on continuing her protest: “I don’t think the flag is for what it says it’s for, liberty and justice and … all that,” said India. “It’s not obviously what’s going on in America today.”
"Students cannot be instantly expelled except for being a danger," lawyer Randall Kallinen, who has now mounted a suit against the school for forcing participation in the pledge, said. "The only danger appeared to be that her sitting whipped Principal Strother into a political frenzy."
India says her protest was inspired by both police brutality and Donald Trump and that she was surprised when she was finally reprimanded: "I said I wouldn't [stand], and they said you are kicked out of here," said India. "The other woman said this isn't the NFL, you won't do this here."
"I never told her to do this," her mom added. "I'm proud of her for standing up to what she believes in. She said she hopes it just brings awareness of what is going on."
Nicole Ray, a spokeswoman for the school district said she was not aware of the lawsuit. She claimed that a “student will not be removed from campus for refusing to stand for the pledge."
Writer Shaun King notes that this is simply one of many similar incidences faced by black protestors:
[Photo: Twitter @infowe]