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Texas Attorney General Defends Law Forcing Kids To Stand For Pledge Of Allegiance

Sep 26, 2018 by

Ken Paxton says he’s watching out for parental rights by intervening in a lawsuit over a student who refused to stand.

By Nina Golgowski –

The Texas attorney general has jumped into a Houston area lawsuit to defend a state law that requires schoolchildren to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance unless a parent or guardian opts them out.

State Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Tuesday that his office has moved to intervene in the suit brought on behalf of former Windfern High School student India Landry last year.

Landry, then 17, accused the Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District and several of its officials of violating her First Amendment rights when they suspended her for refusing to stand during the pledge.

Amid nationwide protests over race relations and police brutality in America, Landry, who is black, said she took issue with this line in the pledge: “With liberty and justice for all.”

“It’s not obviously what’s going on in America today,” she told Houston station KHOU last October.

Paxton argued in his statement that requiring the pledge to be recited at school fosters “respect for our flag and a patriotic love of our country.” He said, “School children cannot unilaterally refuse to participate in the pledge.”

The Republican attorney general noted that the state law allows students to opt out of the pledge if they submit written permission from a parent or guardian. He said leaving that decision up to parents respects their rights.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly held that parents have a fundamental interest in guiding the education and upbringing of their children, which is a critical aspect of liberty guaranteed by the Constitution,” Paxton said. “The Texas Legislature protected that interest by giving the choice of whether an individual student will recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the student’s parent or guardian.”

Source: Texas Attorney General Defends Law Forcing Kids To Stand For Pledge Of Allegiance | HuffPost

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