Louisiana Public Schools Threaten To Punish Students For Not Standing During National Anthem

Some public schools in Louisiana are planning to punish students who refuse to stand for the National Anthem at sporting events, which would be a violation of U.S. law.

Bossier Schools Superintendent Scott Smith said that students who do not stand for the anthem could be punished by schools, notes The Shreveport Times.

Smith’s statement was in response to NFL players who have chosen to peacefully kneel during the National Anthem to protest police brutality against black people. The silent protests have nothing to do with the military and veterans.

One Bossier Parish high school official said potential punishments range from “extra running to a one-game suspension.”

Parkway High principal Waylon Bates (pictured above) sent a letter to athletes and parents that also threatened punishment:

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.

However, punishing students for refusing to stand for the anthem violates the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the 1943 case of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette.

The high court ruled that “no official high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”

(Source: The Shreveport Times, Wikipedia, Photo Credit: Shane Cheatham, Bossier Parish School Board Representative, District 11/Facebook )

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