Spartan’s Express Views on National Anthem Controversy

Sydnee Harrison, Staff Writer

A lot of attention has been drawn to the nation’s national anthem recently, and what is deemed disrespectful and or respectful in regards to it. The questions that were asked to the Broad Run student body were, “How do you feel about standing up for the national anthem? Why do you feel this way?” and “Do you believe BR students should get to say ‘Home of the Spartans’, or ‘Home of the Brave’?”

Most of the student body that were interviewed automatically stated that kneeling or sitting for the national anthem is unacceptable, and completely disrespectful to the country. In a ninth grade Spanish class, 19 out of 22 students agreed that kneeling was disrespectful. In a tenth grade World History class, 17 out of 20 students agreed, and in a 12th grade English class, 14 out of 20 students agreed. Those students expressed the fact that there are people dying and fighting for America, and that the national anthem honors everyone in or out of service. The Virginia Department of Education stated that, “There are 71,655 school age military-associated children of active duty members in Virginia.” The personal answers that they gave were not unexpected, because their loved ones are the people who are fighting.

The other side of the argument that was presented was the fact that a small percentage of students feel there is no reason to stand up for a country that doesn’t have fair treatment for all the people. In a ninth grade English class, three out of 20 students said kneeling was okay. In a tenth grade resource class, only two students out of 15 agreed, and in an 11th grade science class, only five out of 21 students agreed. Their thoughts are that there are large groups of people in America that aren’t receiving equal rights, and that the national anthem doesn’t reflect the whole nation, only a portion of it.

The opinions on standing up for the national anthem and the topic of sporting events were extremely similar. Almost all of the students in Broad Run that were asked agreed that at games, specifically football, should be a place where they can say “Home of the Spartans”, instead of “Home of the Brave.” In all of the classes, only a couple of students objected to the changing of the lyrics. Their opinions differed from the national anthem because most feel that saying “Spartans” is a demonstration of school pride and camaraderie. Also a lot of students stated that when they yell that phrase at games, no one is doing it out of disrespect for the country.

“Our anthem is a reflection of our nation, and what our country stands for. It has always been that way and should never be changed, no matter what event we’re at,” stated freshman Lexie Cooper. That statement reflects what some of the student body’s opinions are, and that the national anthem should never be changed no matter the circumstance.

This is a topic that has been blasted all over social media and has affected a lot of schools rules, including Broad Run’s. Although there are contrasting opinions, the student body is still respectful of the each other’s views, and will continue to be as this topic plays out throughout the nation.