Free speech, or suspendable offense?

School board member suggests standing for National Anthem should not be an option



Should the pledge be required?

Anijah Gordon, Staff Writer

In the past two weeks a Richmond county school board member proposed that student athletes and band members that wear school-bought uniforms should face suspension if they do not stand during the national anthem.

Recently Colin Kaepernick a San Francisco 49ers African American quarterback was the topic in every mouth. He took a knee during the Star spangled Banner as a form of protest due to police brutality and the unfair treatment of the African American community. Many do not agree with him but as time goes by many are following in his footstep at the games and even in schools.

Some Cross Creek students have been exercising their first Amendment right by sitting while the pledge is being said.

The “Star Spangled Banner” was written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key  originally as a poem. It was later set to music and became America’s National Anthem. What most people do not know is that not all of the original poem is included into the song. The third verse was not included where it talked about killing the slaves that would help Britain or attempt to fight for there freedom.

People as a whole are divided on the issue.

Our principal Ms Collingsworth describes herself as an “Army Brat.” She believes that we should stand in respect.

“You might not believe in something,” she said. “But you do need to be respectful and follow along with what is needed.”

Ms. Collingsworth’s father served in the Military for 28 years. He went to wars such as the Vietnam and the Korean war.

“There are a lot of people who still serve in the military and put their own family on hold,” said Ms Collingsworth. “We just need to be respectful for those people.”

Assistant Principal Mr Moore is a veteran. He describes himself as a black man and a citizen.

I look at it as not a form of disrespect. I think that there are some issues there.”

— Assistant Principal Calvin Moore

He said there is no rule in the rule book that states that students should stand for the national pledge or anthem. With that being said, they cannot get in trouble for sitting during these events.

Mr. Moore said he doesn’t have a problem with students remaining seated during the pledge or anthem if they are doing it for the right reasons.

“I look at it as not a form of disrespect,” he said. “I think that there are some issues there.”

Daijah Generette is one of the many students who sits during the national pledge at Cross Creek.

“The United States should be a country for everyone” said Daijah. “Currently there are a lot of injustices going on towards the African American community. I am not about to pledge my allegiance to a country that is unjust.”

Generette has a military family. Her mother is retired from the military and her three brothers are currently enlisted. She believes that they are fighting for us so that we can all have equal rights.

“I totally get it but it is scary.”

Mr. Baker is also a vet who stands for America. He wants the students to be educated and thinks that this makes an excellent teacher point.

He said he has no issue with students protesting as long as it is for the right reasons.

“If a student does not stand, they have a problem with the government,” Mr Baker said.