American Student Punished for Refusing to Recite Mexican Pledge

Todd Starnes, Fox News, February 27, 2013

A Texas high school student has filed a federal lawsuit against her school and her teachers after she was punished for refusing to salute and recite the Mexican pledge of allegiance.

The Thomas More Law Center filed the suit on behalf of Brenda Brinsdon alleging the McAllen Independent School District violated the 15-year-old girl’s constitutional rights when she was forced to recite the Mexican pledge and sing the Mexican national anthem.

Click here to read the lawsuit.

Brinsdon, who is the daughter of a Mexican immigrant and an American father, refused. She believed it was un-American to pledge a loyalty oath to another country.

Ironically, the school district has a policy that prohibits a school from compelling students to recite the American Pledge of Allegiance.

The district also has a written policy that excuses students from reciting text from the Declaration of Independence if the student “as determined by the district, has a conscientious objection to the recitation.”

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“What’s most troubling is the different treatment for someone wanting to opt out of reciting the American Pledge of Allegiance compared to someone as a matter of conscience wants to opt out of reciting the Mexican pledge,” spokesman Erin Mersino told Fox News.

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The recitation of the Mexican pledge and the singing of the Mexican national anthem was part of a 2011 Spanish class assignment at Achieve Early College High School.  The teacher, Reyna Santos, required all her students to participate in the lesson.

When Brinsdon refused to back down—she was punished, the lawsuit alleges. She was given an alternative assignment on the Independence of Mexico. The teacher gave her a failing grade—and then required the student to sit in class over a period of several days to listen to other students recite the Mexican flag.

The lawsuit states Brinsdon offered to recite the American pledge in Spanish but the teacher refused her request.

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