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To Kneel or Not to Kneel

Kaepernick+takes+a+knee+during+the+National+Anthem+while+playing+for+San+Francisco.+Kaepernick+has+since+been+released+from+the+team.
Kaepernick takes a knee during the National Anthem while playing for San Francisco. Kaepernick has since been released from the team.

Kaepernick takes a knee during the National Anthem while playing for San Francisco. Kaepernick has since been released from the team.

Photo via wikimedia.org under Creative Commons license.

Photo via wikimedia.org under Creative Commons license.

Kaepernick takes a knee during the National Anthem while playing for San Francisco. Kaepernick has since been released from the team.

Jack Reid, Staff Writer

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Ask anyone you know, and it is guaranteed that they have something to say about one of the most polarizing topics in recent memory; kneeling during the national anthem. Brought into light by Colin Kaepernick and many other NFL players, the topic has been a beacon for controversy since Kaepernick first took a knee in the 2016-2017 NFL preseason. Kaepernick explained his reasoning days after his protest gained national attention. “This is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice, people that don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard, and effect change. So I’m in the position where I can do that and I’m going to do that for people that can’t.”

Kaepernick’s and other athletes’ decision to kneel was often impacted by the unjust discrimination of African-Americans, gays, and other minorities that felt as if they were receiving unequal treatment from the white majority. But protests of these issues are not limited to just collegiate and professional athletes. Many protests have been organized by normal citizens such as the numerous Black Lives Matter protests.

Do players have the right to kneel during the National Anthem?

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But now it’s time to take this controversy to a different scenario: School. With a wide variety of students of all ethnic, racial, and other backgrounds in most schools, students are bound to have different opinions on the matter of kneeling. Around the nation, schools everywhere have released statements that condone or prohibit kneeling during the national anthem or more commonly the pledge of allegiance during school hours. It seems only right however that the students have a say in the decision.

“I one hundred percent believe that students should be able to kneel,” said Johnny Agudelo, an 11th Grader at Coral Reef Senior High School. “People have developed a misconception that kneeling is unconstitutional and disrespects our military. In actuality, it is everything that they have fought for, because the military fought for the right to give us freedom to protest against what we may see as a broken institution. To not allow students to kneel would be steal their right to rightfully protest for a cause they care about.”

But while some are on the fence or have no preference, others take the topic very seriously. Genesis Medina, an 11th Grader at Miami Killian Senior High School, said, “I feel like students should be allowed to kneel for the anthem or the pledge, but only if they feel that it is right for themselves and goes along with their beliefs.

One student could see the logic behind the kneeling but was ultimately felt like it was not the best move. “If they’re doing it seriously as a way to show respect, then I guess that should be okay,” said Lindsey Olivera, an 11th grader at Miami Arts Studio 6-12. “Although traditionally the way to show respect to our flag is to stand, so even though I don’t see any harm in it, I feel like standing should still be strongly encouraged.”

 

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