We now have two lawsuits brewing in the Houston area in which students allege that they were punished and harassed for refusing to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. We told you about the first case, Arceneaux v. Klein ISD on August 29 and 30. The second case is from Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and involves a similar fact situation.
This time the student is an 18-year old student who alleges that she was temporarily expelled from Windfern High School, a school of choice within the district. The suit alleges that the principal told the student “Well you’re kicked outta here” while the secretary explained “This is not the NFL.” The suit alleges a variety of claims, including that the Texas statute that requires recitation of the Pledge is unconstitutional.
Federal rules require that when a state statute is challenged as being unconstitutional the state Attorney General must be given notice and an opportunity to intervene in the suit. So that happened. Attorney General Paxton has intervened and will be defending the constitutionality of our state law.
Stay tuned! The Dawg will do his best to keep you up to date with these cases. In the meantime, keep reciting the Pledge (both of them) but remember that our statute allows for a student, with parental permission, to opt out. Both of these cases allege that the district’s written policies include the “opt out” but that the folks in the classroom don’t seem to be aware of it. So make sure everyone is aware of it!
The initial ruling in Landry v. Cypress Fairbanks ISD was issued by the federal district court for the Southern District of Texas on July 17, 2018. We found it at 2018 WL 3436971.
DAWG BONE: STUDENT RIGHT TO REFUSE TO SAY THE PLEDGE WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1943. NOT A NEW THING.