As professional athletes from all different sports refuse to stand during the anthem, their example is being copied by the youth of the nation. High school and college teams are now refusing to honor the Star Spangled Banner.
But one high school principal, who thinks the anthem protestors are wrong, has threatened to kick all student athletes off sports teams if they don’t stand during the anthem.
In northwest Louisiana, a high school has stripped the student athletes of their first amendment right of free speech and commanded that all stand during the anthem and cease protesting it.
The principal of Parkway High School in Bossier Parish is creating the stir. And in a letter he wrote to students, he has warned them against protesting on school grounds and calls the awareness campaign “a disruption.” And because President Trump told NFL team owners to fire any player who took a knee during the anthem, the principal is emboldened to do the same.
In the letter to the student body, principal Waylon Bates wrote:
“Parkway High School requires student athletes to stand in a respectful manner throughout the National Anthem during any sporting event in which their team is participating. Failure to comply will result in a loss of playing time and/or participation as directed by the head coach and principal. Continued failure to comply will result in removal from the team.”
Journalist Shaun King obtained a copy of the principal’s letter and posted it to Twitter.
Since it went viral, the principal has taken flack from the American Civil Liberties Union that told him that punishing students for kneeling during the anthem violated their First Amendment rights.
Because the ACLU finds the principal’s letter to be a violation of the Bill of Rights, they wrote, “Nearly 75 years ago, the Supreme Court rightly held that state schools have no business forcing students to stand for patriotic rituals. Schools have no valid interest in turning their students into mouthpieces of government speech, full stop.
“Indeed, schools should respect students who embrace their constitutional rights and stand up to injustice – not punish them. And it would be patently unconstitutional for the school to do so,” the civil rights organization added.
Bossier Parish voted heavily in favor of Trump during the election.