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National Anthem Protests Hit Houston

It’s now fair to say, what former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started one year ago, has now reach football fields in Texas.

President Donald Trump’s recent tweets against NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem continues to ripple through the public conscience, and sports fields nationwide. In Louisiana, a high school has announced it will discipline any player who doesn’t stand for the anthem.

And it’s now fair to say, what former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started one year ago, has now reach football fields in Texas.

The Cy-Fair youth football league says it will stop playing the National Anthem before games. As for high schools in the area, they say it’s a non-issue.

“It hasn’t been even a topic. I feel like we’re so focused. We are aware as a district that somebody may choose to do that, we won’t make any major response to it one way or the other,” says Summer Creek head football coach Brian Ford.

Summer Creek high school is a part of Humble ISD. The Houston Independent School District (HISD) says it won’t require students to stand during the National Anthem. Quite possibly because legally, they can’t.

A 1943 Supreme Court decision makes it unlawful for any school to require students to stand during the anthem. “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is 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,” reads the Court’s ruling.

Summer Creek high school student Alexandria Chambers sits during National Anthem.

Summer Creek student Alexandria Chambers explains why she sat during the anthem, last night. “Why should I stand for a flag that represents a country where African American aren’t technically free,” she questions.

The Cy-Fair Independent School District replied to Houston Public Media via email that, “CFISD has no plans or comments regarding the National Anthem, other than we will continue to play the anthem prior to athletic and other school events as has always been our practice.” When asked how they would handle a student or students protesting, they responded, “We don’t plan on addressing it.”

In Fort Bend County, FBISD Chief Communications Officer Veronica Sopher says an issue would have to arise before the district would consider addressing the matter or issuing a new policy. “In order for us to say we would do this, if that, then we would really need a bigger discussion about the standardization of it,” she says.

 

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