Singing of Mexican National Anthem required in Texas High School class

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Singing of Mexican National Anthem required in Texas High School class

This is actually an update to a story that started over a year ago.  You might remember it from some of the TV coverage at the time, but in case you don't, here is one story about it:

So, the girl was supposed to say the Mexican pledge, and sing the Mexican National Anthem.  She didn't, and failed.  She has now filed suit, and I will address that below, but about the pledge and anthem, there are two things that deserve note.

Regarding the pledge, it is interesting to note that had this girl been required to salute the US Flag and do the pledge, this would have been unquestionably unconstitutional.  In fact, the Supreme Court ruled in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624(1943) that compulsory requirements to pledge to the flag by school children violated the First Amendment.  It's astonishing to me that this school district somehow thought that a compulsory pledge to another flag would somehow be just fine.  Further, as my friend Dr. John Fonte noted in a November 2005 piece titled "Dual Allegiance: A Challenge to Immigration Reform and Patriotic Assimilation":

Dual allegiance is incompatible with the moral basis of American constitutional democracy because 1) Dual allegiance challenges our core foundation as a civic nation (built on political loyalty) by promoting an ethnic and racial basis for allegiance and, thus, subverts our "nation of (assimilated) immigrants" ethic; and 2) Dual allegiance violates the core American principle of equality of citizenship.

So the pledge is bad.  Arguably worse though is the Mexican National Anthem, which contains in the First and Fith stanzas these lines:

But if some enemy outlander should dare to profane your ground with his sole, think, oh beloved Fatherland!, that heaven has given you a soldier in every son....War, war without quarter to any who dare to tarnish the coats of arms of the country! War, war! Let the national banners be soaked in waves of blood. War, war! In the mountain, in the valley, let the cannons thunder in horrid unison and may the sonorous echoes resound with cries of Union! Liberty!

Now, I have no big problem with the martial nature of the lyrics, since our National Anthem is not especially peace-like either.  But then again, we don't force British folk to sing our national anthem. The Mexican National Anthem was written in 1854, and all the stuff about war is a direct reference to the battles they had just held with the Americans.  So basically this Texas high school, whose inclusion into the United States is what started this war in the first place, is requiring this young lady to sing a song which glorifies the killing of 13,283 US citizens.  That to me is unconscionable.  (If you want to learn more about that war, I recommend to you Jeff Shaara's Gone for Soldiers which I happened to be rereading just as this story came out again.)

So flash forward to yesterday when an excellent piece by Todd Starnes of FoxNews noted that the young lady had filed suit against the school:

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.

I can't even begin to imagine what this school was thinking.  They did offer her an alternative, to write a 1/2 page paper on a subject in Spanish.  She did that and received an F.  I'm honestly REALLY looking forward to seeing the School District's response to this suit.  (Legal response that is.)  On what possible basis can they defend?

The complaint is fairly interesting reading if you are a law geek like me.  It notes:

This case seeks to protect and vindicate fundamental constitutional rights. It is a civil rights action brought under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging Defendants’ acts, policies, practices, customs, and/or procedures, which deprived Plaintiff B.B. of her right to freedom of speech and the equal protection of the law by discriminating against her because of her viewpoint on the issue of being forced to pledge allegiance to the Mexican flag. These acts, policies, practices, customs, and/or procedures also infringe the constitutional rights of other students in the school district, including Plaintiff B.B., by chilling the exercise of their right to freedom of speech.

And here's where the people of Texas get to be even more outraged......Taxpayers there will get to pay for the school district's lawyers, the lawyers for the young lady, and any damages that are levied as a result.  Any time a governmental entity (like the school district) loses a case brought under § 1983, the city will end up paying for both lawyers if the petitioner wins. 

Now, this particular provision (the fee shifting) has been targetted by The American Legion before, largely for it's somewhat nefarious use in trying to bully cities into excising from public view all religious symbols.  (For example, a California City whose crest had a cross atop a historical church ended up having to drill holes in the crest on police cars to avoid paying the ACLU gobs of money.)  During a discussion in Congress regarding the Public Expression of Religion Act in 2006, Congressman Chabot of Ohio noted:

PERA amends 42 U.S.C. Sections 1983 and 1988 to prevent the use of the legal system in a manner that extorts money from State and local governments and inhibits their constitutional actions.  Federal statute 42 U.S.C. 1983 is the statute that allows people to sue State and local governments for alleged constitutional violations of their individual rights. Federal statute 42 U.S.C. 1988 is the Federal fee-shifting statute that allows prevailing plaintiffs in lawsuits filed under 1983 to be awarded attorney's fees from the defendant. And the defendant in that case would generally be a governmental entity.

Because of these laws, the threat of litigation against State and local officials alleging that they have violated the Establishment Clause often forces States and localities to cave to demands to remove even the smallest religious references on public property. Most localities do not have the money to pay for not only their own, but also the plaintiff's, attorney's fees if they receive an adverse judgment. And Establishment Clause case law is oftentimes so confusing and the outcome in these cases so unpredictable that it is virtually impossible for a locality to foresee the outcome in any given case.

PERA will level the playing field against groups such as the ACLU who have won millions of dollars in attorney's fees while extorting State and local governments into suppressing the religious speech and free exercise of religion of private individuals, for example, tearing down veterans' memorials that happen to have religious symbols on them, removing the Ten Commandments from public buildings, booting the Boy Scouts off public property, or blotting out crosses from official county seals. This happened in California.

So that's where we stand.  A school failed a girl for refusing to sing the Mexican National Anthem and say the pledge to a foreign flag, and now if (or when) she wins, it will be the taxpayers on the hook for an idiotic decision by a school board in not trying to settle this.  Anyone know where the ACLU stands on this one?  I would hope they would support the young lady, but I don't see any mention of it anywhere in the news.

Only in America, eh?


Posted in the burner | 27 comments
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You won't see the American Communist Legal Union (ACLU) siding with this girl because it doesn't involve defaming tha American way of life or any American symbolism. They only support those who are bent on destroying the moral fiber and religious spirit of America. Pledging to a foriegn flag supports thier goals because it confuses kids as to where thier loyalty lies. The more confused and disoriented the kids, the easier it is as they get older to make even more insane judgements. That clears the way to make it illegal to even own an American flag because it will show predjudice against all other countires. They may even find a way to make it illegal for you to attend church because the church is biased. Many a powerful nation have disappeared without a shot being fired because they were eaten from the inside outside out with diseased minds.

Where's our politician's on this?

There is only one Pledge that should be said in this Country. I feel that that teacher should be fired.

We can also blame our U.S. Senators beacause they have not made Enlish ou National Language.

Soon we Americans will be a minority in our own country.

Who told that stupid BITCH teacher this was ok. FIRE THE WHOLE DAMN BUNCH AND SEND THEM TO MEXICO IF THAT IS WHERE THEIR PLEDGE AND ALLEGANCE IS, BUT NOT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I am glad it was no me they told to do that because of the aftermath that would have been inflicted on that BUNCH OF ASSHOLES STEPPING ON MY GOD GIVEN RIGHTS AS AN AMERICAN.

I just live a few blocks from this High School .When I was drafted i was sworned as an American Fighting Man and I also said the pladge of America I was not even a citizen of this Country ? No big deal at all. I became a Seargant and later joined the national Guard for six years..No big deal If you live so close to the border and you join the Spanish Class you are going to get some homework from Mexico and not frm China ? So don't call is Azz Holes because 18 thousand of Latinos just like me died in Viet Nam and I myself was expose to agent Orange I don't get a half dime cut in Half for my service to our Country ...

Mexico-- speak Spanish and Mexican pledge.
United States-- speak English and American pledge.
Texas is in America, NOT Mexico.
What's so difficult about that to teach?
Where did the teacher learn to teach?

Now, let me get this straight, for the Mexican Pledge of Allegiance, they hold their arms straight out palm flat down. If I am correct, a simple flip of the wrist upwards and you have Heil Hitler!? The last time I heard, Texas is a part of the USA and that our “natural and basic” language is English. I can understand an assignment with the Spanish language class but this crosses the bar.

Why would someone force another to recite or sing the anthem of Mexico in the US. We fought for our freedom in 1836 at the Alamo, Goliad, San Jancinto, plus other areas to be free of Mexican rule or did someone forget that part of history. A lot of good men and woman lost their lives just for that purpose of being free. The school system needs a real good look at to see where they are going wrong. Our for-fathers started this country under one belief of "One Nation Under God" and a pledge as well as our own anthem. Each that requested citizenship to this country took that pledge and that belief and accepted it. Some wheres down the line that has gotten away from us. It is time to get back to values that we started with.

I gave 32 years of my life to protect my country and it's people, so i would not have to worry about saluting another countrys flag. What the hell are these idiots in Texas thinking or doing. Start with the principle and clean house. Does the school fly an American flag or a Mexican one. Screw you Texas,this still America!h

Stupid is ,,,,, Stupid does,,,,,Texas, where is you loyalty, get this School District cleaned up,,, Pronto,,, Hasta Lavesta...

As to what is wrong with the school system, Texas and several other states, is the forcing from Federal Government that insists the childern of the many thousands illeagal families be schooled in their language if they do not understand and speak English. The cost of supporting those people is half the reason this country is having the financial delema we are facing. Wefare, hospital and Dr. services, foodstamps, and the many other " GIVE ME'S" they receive from our government. If we stopped aiding the illeagals, Forqgien Countries, and spent the funds on our people there would no starving children, homeless, or others from this great rich United States. If our leaders cut their saleries in half, they would still be making more money than 9/10ths of the population

Once again some moron is trying to confuse our precious minds of the future. The teacher bullied this young lady just like the big kid in the classroom does to the little geek in the class. NOT COOL at all. These days we celebrate every other ethnicity except for Caucasians and Americans. Groups and schools in the past have always celebrated "black" history month or "hispanic" heritage month...yada, yada, yada. We only get a couple of days a year to actually celebrate our country and our fore-father's. One big reminder to all is that the "white man" was a foreigner in this country also at one time and we don't celebrate "caucasian" history month. Basically, let's celebrate US as a country no matter what race and just remember "we only pledge to ONE flag" and that is the one that so many have served proudly for and died bravely for.

As a proud US Army veteran, I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and The USA from all enemies, foreign and domestic .I pledged my allegiance to only the United States and Saluted only the Flag of our great nation, THE USA. I'll die before I submit to this Bullshit! Teach culture, not treason against our country. If you don't like it, get the hell out!!!! No one forces you to stay. One of the freedoms we guarantee is free will. Move on.........................

I like the Rangers answer: "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out". (Don't panic. Just spouting.)

I am a spanish teacher I teach spanish in an Indiana high school, i do require that some of my students learn the words of the pledges of different countries but i don't require them to
actually pledge allegiance to the country. I think this teacher was a little confused. I am also
a veteran, aTexan, my family fought for the state of Texas but we didn't cross the river the river crossed us. My allegiance will always be to the U.S.A. 'Viva Tejas'.

Unbelievable, incredible, inexcusable. The teacher and the board that supported them should be fired.

In his book, Damascus Road, author L. Charles Holt wrote about the decline of America but what as a family we can do about it. Damascus Road is a story of love of family, digging deeper than you thought possible when facing insurmountable odds and making your own luck until you ultimately succeed even as the world crumbles around you. I love his quote: "I'll do what it takes - shoulder any burden, protect and defend family and friends. I love my family, my God and my country - I'm a Man living my days in America."

God bless America.

Zoie Press

Where is Tx Gov Perry in all of this, as Governor he should step up and tell that school district this young lady is Texan, not Mexican and thus not required to cite anything but US Pledge of Allegiance, I sure wouldn't enforece her to sing our Nat'l Anthem, unless she is a good singer and knows the words.

Our prime concern and agenda is to have English our official language. I feel sorry for the poor little illegal immigrants(aliens), but our childern who have been born here and raised here should not be forced to learn Spanish. Ever since the United States came into existence, legal immigrants entered this country through legal channels. They came to this country for a chance at a better life. They came with the expectancy of being accepted, and tried hard to assimilate and become citizens of the United States. Why should we cater to those who are in this country illegally, sucking our government dry of priviledges they have not earned, nor ever pay for. They are not illegal immigrants, they are illegal aliens. An immigrant is someone who have been displaced because of war, or of the want to try to improve their life. Most illegals now, when asked, they don't say Mexican-American, or Honduran-American, or whatever else, they say Mexican or Hunduran, or whatever. They have no intention of trying to assimilate into our culture and learn our language. They are here to grab what they can, and beleive me, our Federal and Local Governments hand out plenty. I live in Tennessee, and know people here who can't afford groceries or medical attention or life saving medicines and can't get help at all, while the Illegals have shopping carts full of groceries, medical coverage, medicine coverage, and housing. In what world is this fair to the people who have paid the taxes that pay for thes benefits.
Now our President has taken it upon himself to release hundreds of illegals in jails instead of upholding his oath of office to uphold the laws of The United States of America, which is in my and many others opinions an impeachable offence. Go figure. God Bless America and Ol' Glory, and may she wave forever.

You need not look any farther than the universities and state colleges that allow the teaching staff to subvert the ideals and principals of our founding fathers.Most young people in these halls of learning are with out any common sense thus all you have after them being brained washed is a educated idiot.This young women who refused to go along to get along should get a medal.Of course you have got to get the mothers and fathers of school children involved with the PTAs and demand that these principals laid out by the founding fathers be taught in the first place.I also believe that National Service to this country be mandatory.You want to become a citizen serve,example Peace Corp,Military service,Community service,earn your right to be a american.

I am a US Air Force 20 year veteran, and I love my country as much as anyone else. I do agree that this matter could have been handled a lot better by the school. I'm sure it was a student exercise and not some conspiracy to subvert our children. My wife knows the Polish national anthem, and my children learned the German national anthem in a DOD school, and they are no less American for it. After reading many of the posts I must make some other observations.
Americans moved into Tejas illegally and the Mexican government tolerated it. They rebelled in large part because Mexico banned slavery, and there were a lot of slaves in Texas.
Early photos of US kids saying the pledge show them with the arm extended, palm down. That changed when we started seeing Nazi photos. We extend our arms in a similar fashion for blessing rituals in Mass. This has nothing to do with Mexicans being somehow Nazis.
I know of no school that forces anyone to take Spanish or any other language in our country. Given such a large Latino presence, it can be useful for many. Studies show by the third generation many people have abandoned their native language for English anyway as a practical matter. In fact, I've served in countries where one or even two other languages, often English, is required for high school graduation.
The ACLU is about defending civil liberties not about affirming any particular notion about what is "American" or "Un-American." They've even defended KKKers regarding rights of expression.
Asking any "politicians" to get involved only invites opportunities for grand standing and no real resolution to disputes.
I do not equate superior patriotism with vulgar disparagement of those with whom I disagree. Our differences in heritage and viewpoint are powers that have made us stronger as a nation despite the turbulence they bring to us often not found in a monoculture.

I agree completely. This must have occured during a Spanish Language class. My second year French class included several French songs including the Marseilles. I still remember it 50 years later. We were under no illusion that we were pledging anything to the French nation, but were learning more than conjugation and participles. The teacher probably got carried away with her implementation of Mexican cultural heritage. Too bad we are so irritable and downright mean in our knee jerk response to anything not "pure American" This should have been worked out in conference with the Principal and the family and teacher, but we sure do love to jump to the press and the courts.

You missed the point here Wade.The law says you can not force any one to make a pledge of allegiance to any government or for a school spanish lesson or for any reason.If this citizen decides to make the choice not to recite a pledge for any reason thats her decision to make.Not the schools ,I did not see her say she had any beef with any one who wanted to say the oath.If any one it was the school saying she had to.The school violated the law.Also Learning some countries pledge is a lot different than making the pledge.A army vet.

The Teachers, Principal and Schoolboard Members responsible for this lunacy should be stripped of
the U.S. citizenship and be deported to Mexico.
Wilfried Jussen
Toronto Ontario.


Blame the state government and representatives for the lack of backbone to stop this type of behavior by the teachers, and staff. The suck?

What is wrong with the Texas schools, for that matter what is wrong with all our schools? What are they teaching? When the Olympics was here more than one person from the state of "NEW MEXICO" calling to get tickets we told by sales people they could only sell tickets to Americans. Ask a kid today where Georgia is and they will tell you northern europe. Why is it people who come here and become citizens know more about our history and government than a high school grad. One teacher in a local school asked her class what the name of our national anthem was and a third of the class wrote "National Anthem".

Wow yall hate mexico a lot??
its fine but dont sound like you want them dead

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.