Nicole Ray, a spokeswoman for the school district said she was not aware of the lawsuit and noted a "student will not be removed from campus for refusing to stand for the Pledge". It's not obviously what's going on in America today, ' she said. India's mom, Kizzy Landry recorded her phone call with Principal Strother and Strother said, "She can't come to my school if she won't stand for the pledge".
A 17-year-old Houston student was booted from her high school after refusing to stand for the daily Pledge of Allegiance, a federal lawsuit charges.
"This is not legal", University of Houston Law Center assistant professor Emily Berman said.
Besides the inconvenience and embarrassment of being kicked out of school, Landry said, the temporary expulsion could have long-term effects on India's academic standing. She asked me to, and I said I wouldn't.
Now India is facing consequences for being kicked out for four days and didn't attend one day on her own accord.
"They were making rude comments saying 'This isn't the National Football League, you wont do this here, '" India said. "I don't know yet if she'll be held back".
The Washington Post reports a 1943 Supreme Court ruling (West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette) says students can not be required to stand for the pledge. "The only danger appeared to be that her sitting whipped Principal Strother into a political frenzy". She said that "police brutality" and "Donald Trump being President" motivates her to do it, and she was surprised when she got in trouble for it.
"This is not right", Landry said.
It's never been a problem - until now.
The school district says it's going to handle the incident internally, but allegedly they told Kizzy that India can't return if she doesn't stand. India is suing because kicking her out is a violation of her First Amendment right.
Months away from graduating, India says she may only have two options: stand or get her diploma.
But, the senior said she's uneasy with the thought of returning to a campus that treated her so crudely.
"I wouldn't stand because it goes against everything I believe in", India said.
Strother and assistant principal Penny Irwin-Fitt did not respond to a request for comment.