School worker files lawsuit after being fired over Israel pledge

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (WPVI) -- A former school employee is suing the state of Texas and her former school district.

Bahia Amawi says she lost her job as a speech pathologist for Pflugerville ISD after she would not sign a pro-Israel pledge.

The pledge was a part of her contract and is connected to a law the Texas legislature passed in 2017

The law requires anyone who receives public funds to say they do not and will not boycott Israel in a way that would cause economic harm to the country.

But Amawi says telling her how she can spend her money violates her rights.

"When I saw that, my first reaction was shock," Amawi says of the addition to her contract. "Why is the government restricting me on who I can boycott? I felt like my rights were being taken away."

Pflugerville ISD responded to the lawsuit by pointing to the state.

Their statement said in part that they "are at the mercy of the state and the regulations printed into law."

The Texas Attorney General's Office also responded in a statement.

It read, in part: "private citizens and companies have every right to express their views on any issue they wish by boycotting companies and citizens. They do not, however, have a right to use their business activity with the state to make that statement."
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