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Texas Teen Suing School District After She Was Punished for Not Reciting Mexican National Anthem in Class

Posted by on Mar. 1, 2013 at 8:36 AM
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Texas Teen Suing School District After She Was Punished for Not Reciting Mexican National Anthem in Class

Feb. 28, 2013 2:28pm
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Texas Teen Brenda Brinsdon Suing McAllen School District | Students Forced to Recite Mexico Pledge of Allegiance, Mexican National Anthem

Brenda Brinsdon, interviewed by Fox News in 2011, is suing her Texas school district after she said she was punished for refusing to recite the Mexican national anthem pledge of allegiance in class.

A Texas high school student has filed suit against her school district, claiming she was punished for refusing to recite the Mexican national anthem and pledge of allegiance as part of a Spanish class assignment.

Brenda Brinsdon, then 15, told TheBlaze exclusively in 2011 that students in her intermediate Spanish class were instructed to recite the Mexican anthem and pledge individually in front of their peers at Achieve Early College High School in McAllen, Texas. Brinsdon refused, telling TheBlaze at the time that "Reciting pledges to Mexico and being loyal to it has nothing to do with learning Spanish." She also provided TheBlaze with video she recorded of students taking part in the assignment.

As an alternative task to reciting the pledge and anthem, she was assigned an essay on the history of the Mexican revolution - an assignment for which she received a failing grade.

According to the lawsuit, filed in federal court Wednesday, Brinsdon was not allowed to return to the Spanish class after her story received media coverage. She was made to sit in the office each day instead of attend class and ultimately failed the course.

She is suing the McAllen Independent School District, principal Yvette Cavazos and teacher Reyna Santos for violating her constitutional right to freedom of speech and equal protection under the law - according to the suit, the district has a policy to excuse students from saying the American pledge of allegiance if they object, but not if they oppose pledging to another country.

  

 

"The plaintiff has been punished for being a patriotic American," attorney Erin Mersino told TheBlaze Thursday. Mersino is with the Thomas More Law Center, which filed the suit on the Brinsdon family's behalf. "She has been punished for not pledging her loyalty to a different country which used to be determined to be treason, now a person is given an alternative assignment and given a failing grade and is kicked out of class for doing so."

Mersino said they want a judgement from the court saying the school district was wrong and preventing something similar from happening to another student. Brinsdon herself is half-Mexican, with an American father and a mother who immigrated to the U.S. She still attends the school as a junior.

"This truly is a case about a teenager who's a patriot, who is a true American," Mersino said. "She did the right thing by following her conscience and not doing what her teacher was compelling her to do by pledging her loyalty to a different country to which she is not loyal."

A representative from the McAllen Independent School District did not immediately return a request for comment from TheBlaze.

In 2011, a district spokesman defended the pledge assignment, telling TheBlaze it was "simply spreading the culture of another country."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC3xejOJyrI&feature=player_embedded

"Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone- except God"...Billy Graham
by on Mar. 1, 2013 at 8:36 AM
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meriana
by Platinum Member on Mar. 1, 2013 at 8:43 AM
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She's right in saying reciting the Mexican pledge has nothing to do with teaching the spanish language. There are many, many other things that could be recited and probably would have made a better lesson, especially if they were asked to take something in english and translate it into spanish, then recite it in spanish. Good for her for standing up for herself.

ThatTXMom
by Platinum Member on Mar. 1, 2013 at 8:54 AM
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 What will she win?  A passing grade? 

I support what she is trying to accomplish for future students, but it will not change the fact that she wasted time sitting in the office.  Why not transfer out of that class and into another to earn credit some other way?  Taking a failing grade was not a well-played decision for her future. 

AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Mar. 1, 2013 at 9:03 AM
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I'm sorry but I don't feel sorry for her. She had a whole different assignment that she did poorly and failed. This is about her not liking the assignment for anyone and sorry, too late for that. No reason for her failure but her.
She could have stood up for herself and passed if she had done the paper on the Mexican revolution instead of the pledge. Her work was apparently subpar on that too.
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candlegal
by Judy on Mar. 1, 2013 at 9:07 AM
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Good

SEEKEROFSHELLS
by Platinum Member on Mar. 1, 2013 at 9:19 AM
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 I agree. The school accomodated her by giving her a different assignment. She failed that. If she had passed it I wonder if she would be whining. What is she accomplishing for future students? Seems to me the school accomodated her and would accomodate other students in the future. So what really is she accomplishing here?


Quoting AdrianneHill:

I'm sorry but I don't feel sorry for her. She had a whole different assignment that she did poorly and failed. This is about her not liking the assignment for anyone and sorry, too late for that. No reason for her failure but her.
She could have stood up for herself and passed if she had done the paper on the Mexican revolution instead of the pledge. Her work was apparently subpar on that too.



meriana
by Platinum Member on Mar. 1, 2013 at 9:47 AM
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Quoting AdrianneHill:

I'm sorry but I don't feel sorry for her. She had a whole different assignment that she did poorly and failed. This is about her not liking the assignment for anyone and sorry, too late for that. No reason for her failure but her.
She could have stood up for herself and passed if she had done the paper on the Mexican revolution instead of the pledge. Her work was apparently subpar on that too.

Actually since we haven't seen or read her essay, we have no way of knowing if it was sub-standard or not. It's possible that the teacher assigned a different grading criteria (number of points) and no matter how well she did on the essay, she would have failed the class.
UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on Mar. 1, 2013 at 9:54 AM
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I said the Mexican pledge when i was in Spanish but i was the kind of student who did my work with out whining. Clearly she's a shitty student who is learning to complain her way out of responsibilities rather than work hard.

 

katy_kay08
by on Mar. 1, 2013 at 9:56 AM
6 moms liked this

Can she prove that her failing grade on the alternate assignment was retaliatory?  IMO, that will ultimately be the difference in whether she wins her lawsuit or not.  


PamR
by Pam on Mar. 1, 2013 at 9:57 AM
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This is a whole lot of nothing.  No one was asking her to renounce her American citizenship.  Is Mexico a communist country or something?  She didn't want to do the assignment, and apparently didn't want to do the alternative, either.  So she failed.  Her fault.

AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Mar. 1, 2013 at 10:01 AM
4 moms liked this
She failed the class because she went seeking national media attention and the teacher understandably didn't want a media whore in his class. She failed because she didn't do the work period, end of story. Forget the nationalism and the attempt to make this about patriotism. Notice that she had an assignment that she refused to do, she was given another assignment that received a failing grade. She isn't upset apparently about receiving a failing grade on the assignment she did do, she is still angry that someone asked her to do an assignment she refused to do in the end. She has no cause. Being asked to do something that you refuse to do doesn't equate to a necessary lawsuit. She could have passed the class but she wanted attention. She gets the attention and I hope the failure stands.
I would feel the same way if you exchanged the words "Mexican pledge of allegiance" to German pledge of allegiance (something I did in a German class). I have had to recite all kinda of stupid crap and I think she us playing on racism against Mexicans to be honest. How much play would she be getting if she was complaining about learning about Spain and their government? She wants a free grade because she played a game of chicken with the teacher and lost.

I'd chalk this up to a life lesson because in college, the assignments seem to make even less sense.


Quoting meriana:




Quoting AdrianneHill:

I'm sorry but I don't feel sorry for her. She had a whole different assignment that she did poorly and failed. This is about her not liking the assignment for anyone and sorry, too late for that. No reason for her failure but her.


She could have stood up for herself and passed if she had done the paper on the Mexican revolution instead of the pledge. Her work was apparently subpar on that too.











Actually since we haven't seen or read her essay, we have no way of knowing if it was sub-standard or not. It's possible that the teacher assigned a different grading criteria (number of points) and no matter how well she did on the essay, she would have failed the class.
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