Manheim Township school officials in Pennsylvania are rewriting the announcement that’s read preceding the singing of the national anthem at district sporting events.
The announcement raised the ire of some parents Tuesday, when the announcer at a girls’ soccer game said anyone who did not stand during the anthem “will be removed from the stadium.”
“This guy comes on the PA, the announcer, and he gives a dissertation to everybody, kind of angrily,” Manheim Township parent Marcus Blomeier, who stopped by the girls’ soccer game while waiting for his daughter to finish cheerleading practice, said Wednesday.
“He says, ‘When we do the national anthem, if you do not stand, you will be removed from the game.’ I’m like, did I really just hear that?” Blomeier said. “I was floored. Where do you draw the line?”
In interviews, parents said the freedom to stand or sit during the anthem is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution.
District officials on Wednesday said the announcement was intended to ensure people in the audience paid respect to the singer, not the song.
However, a script provided by the district clearly states that people should “rise and face the flag” and “display dignity and respect for our flag.”
It concludes: “Anyone not honoring this request to be respectful will be removed from the stadium.”
A district spokeswoman tells LNP school officials are planning to rework the announcement before this weekend’s games.
Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, has refused to stand to protest racial injustice and minority oppression.
Manheim Township is about 85 miles west of Philadelphia.