New Bossier School policy says players must stand for National Anthem

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UPDATE:  The Caddo Parish School District has a different take on whether players and coaches should stand during the ‘National Anthem’

​”It is the policy and procedure of Caddo Parish Public Schools and the Caddo Parish School Board to allow students and staff to practice their First Amendment rights as long as that practice does not impede on the ability of others to practice their beliefs” said Caddo school spokeswoman Mary Nash Wood. 

KTAL NBC 6/ KMSS Fox 33 reached out to the Caddo School District after the Bossier School District introduced a new policy saying players and coaches and members of all extra-curricular activies, stand for the National 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” said Superintendent Scott Smith.

“​In Caddo schools, we will allow students to participate in play as long as their protest remains peaceful, civil, and does not affect any individual’s ability to participate in the National Anthem should they choose” said Wood. 
 

ORIGINAL:

The Superintendent of Bossier Schools issued a statement this morning saying players and coaches must stand for the National Anthem.

“Freedom is not free. Each day the men and women at Barksdale Air Force Base and in other branches of the military in Bossier Parish and throughout the nation don a uniform and put their lives at risk as they proudly serve and protect us with honor. The least Bossier Schools can do is expect our student athletes to stand in solidarity when the National Anthem is played at sporting events in honor of those sacrifices’ said Superintendent Scott Smith.

This policy also goes for students that participate in any extracurricular activities.

“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” said Smith.

Smith said this directive came after seeking input from district principal in light of the protests that took place during Sunday’s NFL games.

‘Our principals and their coaching staffs have sole discretion in determining consequences should a student athlete elect not to stand during the National Anthem and they are making their expectations known to players and their families this week” said Smith.

Full Statement from Scott Smith:

Freedom is not free. Each day the men and women at Barksdale Air Force Base and in other branches of the military in Bossier Parish and throughout the nation don a uniform and put their lives at risk as they proudly serve and protect us with honor. The least Bossier Schools can do is expect our student athletes to stand in solidarity when the National Anthem is played at sporting events in honor of those sacrifices.

In Bossier Parish, we believe when a student chooses to join and participate on a team, the players and coaches should stand when our National Anthem is played in a show of respect. This extends to those that elect to join a club or student organization, which requires a faculty sponsor. 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.

This district directive was derived after seeking input from all Bossier Parish middle and high school principals in light of the national conversation currently taking place. Our principals and their coaching staffs have sole discretion in determining consequences should a student athlete elect not to stand during the National Anthem and they are making their expectations known to players and their families this week. As Superintendent, my administration will be in full support of these school-based decisions.

Our district stance is reflective of the values held not only at Bossier Schools, but throughout our great parish. The vast majority of our citizens are proud to live in a patriotic community that supports its military and shows deep respect and reverence toward our active duty military and veterans.

It is an honor for Bossier Schools to pay homage to the American flag and stand during the National Anthem. May we never take that for granted.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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