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Louisiana school threatens punishment for national anthem protests

6 years 2 months 1 week ago Thursday, September 28 2017 Sep 28, 2017 September 28, 2017 4:36 PM September 28, 2017 in News
Source: WBRZ
Photo: Shaun King

BOSSIER - The superintendent for the Bossier school system says student-athletes may be disciplined if they refuse to stand for the national anthem at sporting events. 

“It is a choice for students to participate in extracurricular activities, not a right, and we at Bossier Schools feel strongly that our teams and organizations should stand in unity to honor our nation’s military and veterans,” Superintendent Scott Smith said in a statement.

According to the Shreveport Times, Smith said any discipline delivered to defectors would be handled by individual schools.

One high school official in Bossier Parish said potential punishments range from “extra running to a one-game suspension.” The principal of Parkway High reportedly sent a letter to parents, detailing the school's rules during the anthem.

“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 playing. Failure to comply will result in 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. Parkway High School is committed to creating a positive environment for sporting events that is free of disruption to the athletic contest or game.”

On Tuesday, Green Oaks principal Steven Grant told The Times his football team would stand together -- arms linked with one another -- during the national anthem when the Caddo Parish school visits Plain Dealing in Bossier Parish on Friday.

Earlier this week, the LHSAA clarified its stance on the matter: 

“The LHSAA is a principal’s organization whereas in these situations the LHSAA Rules and Regulations do not take precedence,” the release said in 2016. “Therefore, any/all decisions related to individuals and/or teams expressions exhibited during any pre-event national anthem at a LHSAA regular season and/or postseason game, match, meet or contest, will be determined by each individual member school and/or member school’s school district.”

This past week, many NFL teams made a statement during the respective anthems, with many players kneeling, linking arms or staying in the tunnel during the anthem.

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