ORLANDO, Fla. - Orange County school district officials in Florida said students must have parents’ permission to kneel during the national anthem at sporting events, WFTV reported.
The issue has been making national headlines since San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee in protest of social injustice.
Some athletes are starting to follow national players’ lead on the issue, although none did at a football game Thursday night in Orlando between Evans and Jones high schools.
Several school districts said it has not happened in central Florida, but a southwest Florida school district said students needed written permission to kneel.
Orange County Public Schools officials said it has interpreted state law to treat the national anthem like the Pledge of Allegiance.
District officials said they like the policy on the Pledge of Allegiance, students may kneel if they have permission in the form of a letter from a parent.
“I have to stay neutral, but whatever they do, I’m going to support them. That’s really between that individual and their family,” Jones High School football coach Elijah Williams said.
A school district spokesman said that if any of the students had kneeled, they would not have gotten in trouble.
Orange County Public Schools said its legal team is still reviewing state law.
Florida statute mentions students should stand for the national anthem, but only mentioned students being excused by a written letter for the Pledge of Allegiance.
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