Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Controversy fills the halls at a Kanawha County high school, Monday, after the principal cancels the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem.
Capital High School principal Clinton Giles refused to comment on camera about his decision to pull the pledge, he did say off camera, that he was trying to make a statement, after getting complaints he was forcing students to recite the pledge.
“My understanding is we had some calls from parents that students were being told that they had to stand and if they didn’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, and I also believe they played the African American national anthem, then they were disciplined for that,” explained Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Ron Duerring.
Duerring says that schools are required to say the pledge, but students are not required to stand and recite it. They have the option to remain seated. Giles told Eyewitness News that he does ask students to stand during the pledge, but they aren’t forced to recite it.
“There is court case at the national level, supreme court level, federal and state that says you can’t force any child to stand for any pledge of any kind,” said Duerring.
Giles said in January of 101, he changed the rule at Capital, from giving students the option to sit or stand, to making them stand. He said the school has the power to structure the observance of the flag, and he’s within his rights to make the rule.
After the complaints came to the superintendent, he took matters into his own hands, and cancelled the pledge and National Anthem all together, Monday morning.
“It shouldn’t be all or nothing. People have the right to make a decision and when he does that, when he says you all have to stand, or none of you are going to stand, he takes away that ability to make a choice,” said sophomore George Lilly.
“The law requires us to do the pledge so we have to follow through with what the law requires,” Duerring said.
Giles said the pledge and National Anthem will return Tuesday. He said he’s pleased with the response he got from students who were upset when they were cancelled…