Kingsport

High schools address athletes kneeling during National Anthem

High school policies

TRI-CITIES - As more and more NFL players take a knee during the National Anthem, controversy around the country is growing.

President Trump said he's ashamed of the players who kneel and finds it disgraceful.

Now, there are reports that some high school students in other parts of the country may try to kneel at their games Friday.

Locally, most schools don't have policies in place if this were to happen here.

"It would be impossible to have a policy that covers every possible scenario in a school system. So, there isn't one," explained Andy True, the Assistant Superintendent of Kingsport's schools.

True said he hasn't heard of any students at Dobyns-Benntt High School planning to take a knee during the National Anthem.

Since there is no policy in place, if a student chooses to kneel, they wouldn't get in trouble.

"Students have certain constitutional rights. If they choose to exhibit those, they have those rights. They don't leave those at the school house gate. So, at this point it has not been a situation that we have had a problem with here in Kingsport," said True.

Science Hill High School in Johnson City has a similar situation.

"We do not have a policy regarding the behavior of students during the national anthem," said Debra Bentley, the district's Director of Communications.

She said they would also respect the students' First Amendment rights if they choose to make a statement.

Bentley also explained the athletes are in the locker room during the National Anthem, so they don't have the option to get involved in pre-game field activities.

Other schools with little or no discussions on the matter and no policy in place are Virginia High and Tennessee High in Bristol.

 


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