Principal Threatens To Punish Students Who Take A Knee Amid NFL Protests

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Principal Bates cited a ruling by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) that states that school principals are allowed to make decisions regarding student participation in the national anthem.

"Prohibiting student protest challenges the very objective of school as a place of learning", says Farrace.

The warnings issued by administrators in Bossier Parish schools came after a high school principal in neighboring Caddo Parish said Tuesday that he and his school's players meant to link arms during the national anthem.

It has been a tradition at HISD athletic events for participants and fans alike to stand in honor of the American flag and the playing of the National Anthem at the beginning of such contests.

"As far as players protesting, the less said is best, but that's left up to a principal or a head coach if anything is said to the players about what they do".

Before the game, Lakeshia Johnson - who has two children in elementary school and two nieces of high school age - said she didn't believe students should "be punished for following the First Amendment".

And the Parkway letter said continued failure - to stand - would result in removal from the team. The Diocese of Camden in New Jersey said previous year that any student who failed to stand for the anthem at a sporting event would be suspended for two games.

Almost 75 years ago, the Supreme Court rightly held that state schools have no business forcing students to stand for patriotic rituals.

"We actually talked about this a year ago before it blew up because we wanted to be on top of it, in case it happened", said Pribyl, whose school has 45 percent non-Caucasian student athletes. At Pearl High School, there is no set policy on actually standing for the anthem when it plays in class or at games. A letter sent out to student-athletes of Parkway High School in Bossier City, Louisiana on Thursday was discovered by Shaun King of The Intercept and in it, the school's principal, Waylon Bates, announced that all of the school's athletes would be required to stand for the anthem.

The demand to stand ultimately stems from a district directive sent out this week by Bossier Parish Superintendent Scott Smith following the widespread protests in the National Football League on Sunday.

"What the United States Supreme Court has said that the schools will not continue to infringe the constitutional fundamental rights of their students".

The school district's stance is already drawing fire from civil liberties groups, including the America Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana. "As my brother says it best, "as a soldier we defend the Constitution and not a song or flag".

Local veteran Randy Metz said, "I think that's fine because they've been warned and told not to do it".

In Baton Rouge, the Louisiana capital, one school has chose to cancel the national anthem "amid safety concerns", an official said.

In closing the letter, Smith adamntly rejected the idea that students being able to particiapte in school sports is a student "right", rather than a choice provided by the school.

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