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Louisiana High School to Punish Athletes for Protesting During Anthem

Parkway High School sent a letter to student-athletes and parents outlining rules for the national anthem.

As President Trump continues to call on NFL owners to "fire" players who protest during the national anthem, a Louisiana high school sent a letter to student-athletes promising to punish students if they sit or take a knee during the anthem. 

Parkway High School principal Waylon Bates sent a letter to its student-athletes and their parents outlining rules for conduct during the national anthem. The full text of the letter, whose subject is "Extracurricular Events," reads as follows: 

The LHSAA (Louisiana High School Athletic Association) allows school principals to make decisions regarding student participation in the National Anthem while competing in athletic contests and games. Parkway High School requires student athletes to stand in a respectful manner throughout the National Anthem during any sporting event in which their team is participating. Failure to comply will result in loss of playing time and/or participation as directed by the head coach and principal. Continued failure to comply will result in removal from the team. Parkway High School is continued to creating a positive environment for sporting events that is free of disruption to the athletic contest or game." 


Waylon Bates

Parkway High School is located in Bossier City, a suburb of Shreveport. Bossier Parish voted 71.2 percent for Trump in the 2016 election, and the town is roughly 71 percent white, per the 2010 census. 

Brandon Harris is the backup quarterback at North Carolina and a graduate of Parkway. Harris, who is black, did not seem to be pleased with his school's decision to tell its students when they can and cannot protest social injustices. 

Protests and displays of solidarity were widespread across the NFL in Week 3, with every single team doing something besides simply standing during the anthem—most teams linked arms, while a score of players kneeled. The Titans, Steelers and Seahawks decided to stay in the locker room during the anthem.