Parents frustrated over student's 'disrespect' during national anthem

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Parents say they're disappointed after witnessing what they say was disrespect of the flag and national anthem at a high school basketball game. 

One parent captured video of the incident at Lincoln High School. They have a student at St. Augustine and say it was the second time they witnessed Lincoln High players sitting down during the anthem. The parent described the players as talking and joking around during it.

A grandfather at the game, who is a Vietnam veteran, says he too was offended. He wrote a letter to Lincoln's principal and wants to sit down with him to discuss the issue. The veteran believes the players were disrespectful and says their actions were not in line with the school's mission statement.

10News spoke with the school's basketball coach by phone who says he doesn't believe students meant to be disrespectful. He also respects their right to make their own decisions about their actions during the national anthem.  

Plans are now in place for school officials to have a discussion with those who voiced concerns. 

The San Diego Unified School District has since sent 10News a statement on the matter:

Public school districts do not have the authority to require students to observe patriotic or religious rituals in the classroom or at school functions. We believe in our students right to free-speech, but also encourage students to be respectful in the way they choose to exercise their rights.

School Administration is reaching out to the students involved and taking the opportunity to use this as a teachable moment.


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