Welcome!

Symbian Authors: Jack Newton, Kevin Benedict, Matthew Lobas, Shelly Palmer, RealWire News Distribution

News Feed Item

In one Texas School, Students have the Right to Opt-Out of Reciting the American Pledge of Allegiance . . . but Not the Mexican Pledge; Lawsuit Filed by Thomas More Law Center

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Just as the 2011 school year began, Brenda Brinsdon, then a 15-year-old sophomore at Achieve Early College High School (AECHS) in McAllen Texas, was thrust into the national spotlight after she refused to stand up, extend her arms straight out with palms down and recite the Mexican Pledge of Allegiance and sing the Mexican National Anthem.  Reyna Santos, the Spanish 3 teacher, required all her students to recite this allegiance to Mexico.  

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.

As a result, the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, along with local Texas attorney Jerad Najvar, filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Brenda and her father William Brinsdon claiming that school officials violated Brenda's constitutional rights. Click here to read the federal lawsuit.

Ironically, the assignment to recite the Mexican pledge was given during the school's celebration of Freedom Week, marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks and also on U.S. Constitution Day.  According to the McAllen School District policy for Special Programs, social studies classes during Freedom Week were required to recite the text of the Declaration of Independence.  However, excusals from recitation are granted for students who have a conscientious objection.

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. 

Brenda's refusal was not well received by her teacher, Reyna Santos, or the school principal, Yvette Cavasos.  Both tried to coerce her to recite the Mexican pledge, saying this was just an assignment.  Brenda attempted to discuss reasons for her refusal to pledge allegiance to a country other than the United States with both Santos and Cavasos. When Brenda did not back down, she was punished.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), commented, "Too many Americans—including those of Mexican descent—have suffered and died protecting our nation. It's astonishing that this Texas school would deny Brenda her right of conscience and free speech not to pledge allegiance to a foreign country.  There is a sad trend in public schools across our nation to undermine American patriotism.  But it's encouraging to see students like Brenda stand up for America despite pressure from school officials."

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. 

Brenda videotaped the class on her cell phone and brought it home to show her father.  Click here to see Brenda's cell phone video.  Mr. Brinsdon attempted to contact several school officials but he never received a return call. Click here to see local news coverage.

The lawsuit claims the school district and school officials deprived Brenda of her right to freedom of speech and equal protection of the law by discriminating against and unjustly punishing her because of her viewpoint.  The lawsuit names the McAllen Independent School District, AECHS Principal, and Spanish teacher Reyna Santos as defendants. 

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America's Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life.  It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America.  The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities.  It does not charge for its services.  The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization.  You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at www.thomasmore.org.

SOURCE Thomas More Law Center

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
WebRTC adoption has generated a wave of creative uses of communications and collaboration through websites, sales apps, customer care and business applications. As WebRTC has become more mainstream it has evolved to use cases beyond the original peer-to-peer case, which has led to a repeating requirement for interoperability with existing infrastructures. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Graham Holt, Executive Vice President of Daitan Group, will cover implementation examples that have enabled ea...
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, will compare the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, e...
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, provided tips on how to be successful in large scale machine learning...
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...