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Texas AG sides against high school student who didn't stand for Pledge of Allegiance

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to the media at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on March 2, 2016. On Wednesday, Paxton intervened in a case involving a Texas high school student who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

By Ray Downs, UPI

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton intervened in a case to side against a teenager who sued her school for expelling her after she refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The lawsuit was filed last year by then-17-year-old India Landry after she was expelled by the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, located outside Houston. Landry claims the expulsion violated her First Amendment rights, while the school district argues it has the right to compel a child to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance under state law.

Although he case is ongoing, Paxton filed an intervention to side with the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District.

"Requiring the pledge to be recited at the start of every school day has the laudable result of fostering respect for our flag and a patriotic love of our country," Paxton said in a statement. "This case is about providing for the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance while respecting the parental right to direct the education of children. The district court should uphold the Education Code and the right of parents to determine whether their children will recite the Pledge of Allegiance."

Landry's attorney, Randall L.Kallinen, told the Houston Chronicle that it's rare for Paxton to intervene in cases and said his motive is likely not for patriotic love.

"The reason he's challenging this case is that it's election time," Kallinen said. "It's an attempt to rally the troops."

Paxton is up for re-election in November.

At the time Landry was expelled from school, she told KHOU-TV that she didn't stand for the Pledge of Allegiance for a long time, but school officials didn't punish her until last year and alluded to the flag protests carried out by NFL players to protest police brutality.

"They were making rude comments saying 'This isn't the NFL, you wont do this here,'" India said.

"I don't think that the flag is what it says it's for, for liberty and justice and all that. It's not obviously what's going on in America today," she added.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Texas AG sides against high school student who didn't stand for Pledge of Allegiance
Texas AG sides against high school student who didn't stand for Pledge of Allegiance
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