- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Texas high school student has filed a federal lawsuit against her school after her Spanish teacher allegedly gave her a failing grade for refusing to recite the Mexican pledge of allegiance.

The lawsuit says the McAllen Independent School District violated 15-year-old girl Brenda Brinsdon’s constitutional rights, saying that the “Supreme Court forbids teachers from compelling schoolchildren to pledge their allegiance to a country.”

The complaint also states that the student was not allowed to recite the American Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish in front of the class as an alternative assignment. The teacher, Reyna Santos, gave her a different assignment on the Independence of Mexico to which she received 13 out of 100 points.

The school district has a policy that prohibits a school from compelling students to recite the American Pledge of Allegiance or text from the Declaration of Independence if the student “as determined by the district, has a conscientious objection to the recitation,” Fox News’ Todd Starnes reports.

“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,” Thomas More Law Center spokesman Erin Mersino told Fox News.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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