HS Student Sues District over Pledge


A 17-year old student at Klein Oak High School is suing the district for what she describes as harassment by teachers, administrators and students because she refuses to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.

She said since she's declined to stand for the pledge since she was a freshman.

"The first reason I sit is that obviously, it is my constitutional right, but I also believe we live in a country where there isn't liberty and freedom for all."

The student, who is now a senior, recalled one incident in particular:

"He first started off by saying that if you sit for the Pledge you take from this country and you're unappreciative. But then he goes on to compare people who sit for the Pledge to communists. And he says if you want to be an American you need to assimilate to essentially our values, and that if you sit, you're not doing that."

Lashan Arceneaux says her daughter has been harassed for three years.

"At the beginning I thought maybe it's not a big deal. But then as it kept going on and on I realized this is something that's really impacting her personally as well as at school. And I really felt, as a mom, it's always my responsibility to have her back."

Klein ISD said it respects students' rights and released the following statement:"Klein ISD is aware of a lawsuit filed against the District and some of its employees and former employees that alleges that the District and employees have interfered with a student's exercise of her Constitutional right not to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. Klein ISD denies the allegations and, after investigation and discussion with those involved over a three-year span, finds multiple discrepancies in the allegations. Klein ISD continues to respect the rights of all students. As Klein ISD communicated to the family's attorney this summer, Klein ISD does not tolerate harassment against students."

The lawsuit seeks compensation for homeschooling, plus punitive damages and legal fees.


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