Thursday, September 28, 2017

Trumpifying High School Sports

So this just popped up on my twitter feed:

The letter is from the principal of Parkway High School in Louisiana (Home of the Panthers) and it says in fairly clear terms that all school athletes will stand for the national anthem or face disciplinary action, and if they still fail to comply, then the school will kick those sons of bitches off the team.

It is hard to know how far and how fast this will spread, but I suspect that somewhere at an ACLU office, someone cut lunch short to start drafting the lawsuit that this school is going to lose.

After all-- we've already got the 1943 Supreme Court decision that makes it clear that a school may not require students to stand for the pledge of allegiance.

Schools frequently get confused about whether their role is to force compliance or to recognize that students are live human citizens of the United States of America. First Amendment freedoms still apply even if you are under 18, and no, our soldiers did not fight and die so that all Americans could be forced to salute a flag or stand for an anthem whether they wanted to or not. No, the hallmark of freedom is not allowing people only to have the freedom to do what you think they ought to do. Forcing everyone to stand for the flag and the anthem is the hallmark of totalitarianism. It's not okay.

Being rich and/or powerful doesn't mean you get to "fire" everyone you disagree with. And that goes double for students.

Here's hoping that Parkway, and any schools that choose the same path, go down to a quick and definitive defeat.


  1. I hope the student athletes have the courage to unite on this. Let the entire team sit or kneel and just see if the school has the fortitude to stand by their convictions. Kick out the entire football team? The entire boys' basketball team? Yeah, I'd like to see that happen.

    Incidentally, this is a fight that the boys will have to fight, especially the football and basketball teams. No one cares about girls' sports or minor boys' sports. The school would happily bench the entire team.

  2. Forced patriotism is not even patriotism. We should be careful of making people do things they don't really believe as it violates their freedom of conscience.

  3. What little I know about Louisiana suggests that this high school will not witness "student athletes [with] the courage to unite on this."

    But, if the ACLU does push a suit up to the Supreme Court, it will be interesting to see if the current bench will regard a 'voluntary' team rule in the same light as their 1943 predecessors viewed a mandatory classroom restriction.

  4. Dear Mr. Greene and Commentors:

    It’s irksome that the issue of kneeling to protest police brutality had become, well, not a settled issue, but one that people understood, and then Emperor HiroCheeto decided to whip it up as a new issue about “disrespecting the flag” because he needed a diversion from whatever bad thing he was doing at the time, which might have been either the ongoing election hacking Investigation, pushing for a bad health care bill, or not helping Puerto Rico, or maybe all three.

    No one is asking me, but I think a wise school administrator would send a notice to the students’ homes and to the local paper announcing the suspension of the flag salute. There will be games of football against other schools this fall. Everyone should come and have fun.

    The issue is similar to having an Invocation or a Blessing. You can’t call for a Blessing and then have to clear the room of a melee between groups that do or do not want a Blessing. It sort of defeats the purpose.