MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Some students in Manatee County will be going to the school board Tuesday night, trying to get permission to kneel during the national anthem.
The Manatee County Schools “Code of Student Conduct” says students must stand for the pledge and the national anthem.
Manatee County students joined activist groups on the sidewalk in front of the school board headquarters on last week.
They believe the school board should allow students, including athletes, to take a knee like we’ve seen in the NFL as a way to protest what they see as social injustice.
“We are here to protest that because we think it’s against our students’ rights. We know it’s against our students’ rights and we want to take our rights back,” said Leah Tiberni.
A school board member said the entire “take a knee” protest is a non-issue in the district.
Mitchell Teitelbaum says athletes are in the locker room when the anthem is played, and so far, nobody has taken a knee this year. Teitelbaum added there is a way for students to opt out of standing.
“A student has choices. A student has protections as long as there is parental consent. By statute itself, a parent can opt out for the pledge of allegiance and ultimately, the national anthem as well,” said Teitelbaum.
Students and activist groups plan to bring the subject up at the school board meeting Tuesday at 5 p.m.