Previously, students were required to stand for all morning observances, which sometimes included the national anthem and the African-American national anthem, ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing.” However, the policy was revised after an investigation by Mark Milam, assistant superintendent for Kanawha County high schools, making it so that students are not required to stand for morning observations.
Instead of requiring students to stand, the policy will now require that “during the Pledge, nonparticipating students are expected to stand or sit silently and are not to engage in any disrupting or distracting activity.”
The change comes after some parents complained about “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, which was played every Friday morning after the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance Students were required to stand for all three. But at least two students refused to stand for the African-American national anthem, and the mother of one of the students said it was “disrespectful” for her child to be forced to stand for the black anthem.
She said it was wrong for her son to be sent to the principal’s office for his refusal to stand during the black anthem and that the principal made statements over the loudspeaker which ostracized her son.
The complaining mother, Kim Bailey, says she is happy with the change, but still says the school must do more to stress that there is only one national anthem.