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Saint John Damascene

Schools—including Catholic ones—take a stand against kneeling

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Dylan Buell | Getty Images North America | AFP

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 24: Members of the Green Bay Packers stand with arms locked as a sign of unity during the national anthem prior to their game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lambeau Field on September 24, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 09/29/17

From The New York Times: 

The controversy over kneeling in protest of racial injustice moved beyond the world of professional sports this week, when a number of schools told students they were expected to stand during the national anthem.

On Long Island, the Diocese of Rockville Centre, which runs a private Catholic school system, said students at its three high schools could face “serious disciplinary action” if they knelt during the anthem before sporting events.

Sean P. Dolan, a spokesman for the diocese, said on Friday that the letter, which was sent to principals, was intended to restate policy that the diocese already had in place.

But he added in an emailed statement: “Although the Diocese does not agree that demonstrations are appropriate in its schools during the playing of the National Anthem — which recognizes the tremendous sacrifices of Americans of all races, ethnicities and religions — it notes that students who seek to challenge racism and racial discrimination are firmly in accord with Catholic teaching.”

In northwest Louisiana, Scott Smith, the superintendent of schools in Bossier Parish, said student athletes were expected to stand for the anthem. “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,” he said in a letter obtained by The New York Times.

Waylon Bates, the principal of Parkway High School in Bossier City, La., a municipality of more than 60,000 people near Shreveport, outlined the punishment students would face at his school. He sent a letter on Thursday to athletes and parents saying athletes were required to stand “in a respectful manner” during the anthem.

Read more. 

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