One school warned that student athletes would be kicked off the team if they did not stand during the national anthem.
Parkway High School's principal issued the directive Thursday, ordering student athletes to stand during the national anthem or risk loss of playing time and removal from the team.
The school's order comes in the wake of President Trump calling on the NFL to bar players from kneeling during the national anthem, further fueling days of partisan furor involving NFL players, owners, and coaches along with military veterans, brands, bars, companies, and lawmakers.
Now, schools across the US are grappling with how to handle students involved in national anthem protests that were sparked when Trump called any NFL player who knelt to protest police brutality, “a son of a bitch.”
While Parkway High School is one of the few institutions to explicitly cite disciplinary actions for protesting students, other school officials have also called on their students to show respect during the national anthem.
“Our principals and their coaching staffs have sole discretion in determining consequences should a student athlete elect not to stand during the National Anthem,” Superintendent Scott Smith of Bossier Parish Schools, the district in which Parkway High School is located, said in a statement on Wednesday.
“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,” Smith said, adding that he would provide “full support” to schools that decide to discipline students for protesting during 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,” Smith said. “It is an honor for Bossier Schools to pay homage to the American flag and stand during the National Anthem.”
Parkway High School and Bossier Parish Schools did not respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.
But Bossier High Principal David Thrash, told the Shreveport Times “we stand for the national anthem.
“I don’t foresee any problems with our students because they know what is expected of them,” he added.
Thrash did not specify if the school had issued a directive on standing during the national anthem, or if there would be any disciplinary action for those who don't.
“If we go through a run-through before the game, everybody does the run-through,” Thrash told the Times. “I’m sure there’ll be some kids somewhere who will want to call attention to themselves. But we won’t let someone dictate to us. We have high expectations at our school.”
Ginger Gustavson, the principal of Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, also told the paper that her school expected “respectful behavior” during school activities, including singing the national anthem.
“We actually have our student leaders model this respectful behavior as part of our Camp Gator orientation,” Gustavson told the Times. “Our student athletes have shown respect and I expect that they will continue to do so. But with anything, we always address any issues in a personal way….listening and communicating with our students.”
Bossier High officials and Gustavson did not return BuzzFeed News' request for comment.