The Thomas More Law Center has filed a lawsuit on behalf of high school student Brenda Brinsdon, who in her Spanish 3 class in September 2011 was told to stand and pledge allegiance to the Mexican flag and sing the Mexican Anthem. Brenda refused. The rest of the class complied. The teacher, Reyna Santos along with Principal Yvette Cavasos, tried numerous ways to force Brenda to “pledge,” and “sing.” The McAllen School District said they would do a “review,” apparently not understanding what combining the words “pledge” and “allegiance” means when they become a command. Texas State Representative Roberto Alonzo said to question the loyalty of the teacher and the school district is unfair Roberto Alonzo. At the time, Brenda was removed from the class. She is fluent in Spanish and the daughter of a Mexican immigrant. There is little information on what has happened in the one-plus year since the incident, but the lawsuit was announced yesterday.
The school claims this was a single assignment but students also had to stand individually and recite the pledge – which went on for several days. Brenda offered to recite the pledge to the American flag in Spanish, but that wasn’t acceptable.
When the time came for the students to stand up and recite the Mexican pledge, Brenda Brinsdon refused. Brenda, born in the United States, is the daughter of a Mexican immigrant and an American father. Brenda is fluent in Spanish and English and is proud of her Mexican heritage, but she is a true blooded American. So to Brenda, the words of the pledge have a deep meaning. Her conscience and patriotism would not allow her to participate in the assignment. She believed it was ‘un-American’ and she was exercising her constitutional right not to be forced to pledge allegiance to Mexico. The school punished her for her refusal.
The longstanding Supreme Court decision, West Virginia State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, (1943), and the school district’s own policy prohibit a school from compelling students to recite the American Pledge of Allegiance. However, the School District ignored those rules when Brenda Brinsdon refused to recite the Mexican pledge…
Santos gave Brenda an alternate assignment; write an essay on the Independence of Mexico. While performing above average on all previous assignments in the class, Brenda completed this assignment on time but was given a failing grade. She was also required to sit in class over the next several days and listen to student after student reciting the Mexican pledge.
Following the incident, Brenda was involuntarily removed from her Spanish class. She spent the class hour in the school’s office, even though she requested to return to the classroom. Brenda was also given a failing grade on her report card, which was later corrected. Source: Thomas More Law Center
The lawsuit was filed against the McAllen Independent School District, Principal Yvette Cavazos and teacher Reyna Santos. Thanks to a great patriot, PolitiJim, for the tip.
Video courtesy of William Brinsdon, Brenda’s Father (video)
From the Blaze – a second video of what students were required to do