Student Refuses To Stand For Anthem, Punishment She Receives Makes National Headlines

Updated October 11, 2017

A 17-year-old student was expelled from school after she refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

High school student India Landry is suing the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District and the principal claiming it’s within her constitutional rights to remain seated during the pledge.

According to the lawsuit, Landry was expelled after sitting during the pledge while in the principal’s office. She returned to school later that week after the principal reversed their decision, allowing her to stay seated.

Landry told KHOU about her decision not to stand, noting, “the flag is what it says it’s for, for liberty and justice and all that.”

A district spokesman said that students should not be removed from school if they decide to remain seated during the pledge. This school incident comes on the heels of the NFL’s Take a Knee protests during the national anthem, about which the President has been very vocal.

Vice President Mike Pence even walked out of a game over the weekend after players took a knee during the anthem.

Those weighing in with comments on Buzzfeed’s Facebook post about the story had plenty to say, including one person who noted: “It’s getting ridiculous since when are we forced into being patriotic? Forced patriotism is fascism, what next an open hand salute to our POTUS?”

One commenter gave a history lesson about the pledge that really gives some perspective, explaining: “The pledge started as an advertisement to sell flags, get over it. It wasn’t even intended solely for US flags. Plus, it’s just plain freaky to force children to stand at attention and chant that seriously screwed up piece of writing.”

While a dispute waged on in the comments over the pledge’s original intention, it was pointed out that: “Intentions aside, it doesn’t change that he wrote it as an advertisement for his magazine. I understand that he wanted to instill patriotism, but that doesn’t negate the origin of the pledge. It was a PR gimmick, through and through.”

Another commenter pointed out: “Haven’t we already had this court case? Hasn’t it already been decided by the supreme court that no one can be forced into this???”

One commenter added her past experience and beliefs, sharing: “I used to sit during my high school years too. When I found out it was all a gimmick for advertising and having worked with as freelance designer at the time I knew what it really stood for and sat it out. People do things just because they’re conditioned to but never ask why. Look at how many people knock on wood but if you ask them to explain WHY they don’t have the answer. Good for her to stand up for not wanting to pledge. It’s all BS anyway.”

This commenter summed it up well, explaining: “It’s not required to stand. We didn’t even do the pledge in high school just in elementary. And even then if you didn’t feel like standing up you didn’t have to.”

Another person added: “Stand up for your rights and yourself, even if it is not the popular opinion.”