Texas AG argues black girl should have been forced to stand for pledge because she didn't have permission to sit
India Landry (YouTube)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has moved to intervene in a federal court case where an African-American girl was suspended for protesting the Pledge of Allegiance.


India Landry and her mother won a lawsuit against Cyprus-Fairbanks Independent School District after she was expelled for refusing to stand while the pledge was being recited in class.

In a motion filed on Tuesday, Paxton argued that the school district should have prevailed in the case because the girl's mother did not send an official letter to opt-out of saying the pledge.

"As the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized, parents have a fundamental interest in guiding the education and upbringing of their children," Paxton wrote. "That interest rightfully includes determining whether their children should participate in the time-honored tradition of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag."

Paxton said that he was attempting to intervene in the case in order to protect the right of parents who want to force their children to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

"A State may act to protect that interest, and the Texas Legislature did so by giving the choice of whether an individual student will recite the Pledge to the student’s parent or guardian," he argued. "The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has held that doing so is a legitimate way to protect parents’ interest in determining how their children will be educated on civic values and does not violate the students’ First Amendment rights."

BuzzFeed's Dominic Holden pointed out that there was at least one district court ruling in Florida that favored the student in a similar case.