She also could not salute a picture of the POTUS (Eisenhower, at the time), with our carton of room-temperature milk. She just stood at her desk, eyes down at her feet, carton of milk next to the graham cracker snack on her desk.
She, like me, was also first generation Portuguese American. Sometimes, we spoke Portuguese to each other on the playground. We made sure the other kids couldn't hear us, of course, but the "double deception" made us giggle.