Update, Oct. 28: On Tuesday, the Grady County School District posted an update regarding the incident to its Facebook page.
“As an educational institution, it is our responsibility to take moments like this and learn from them, as well as, teach our students. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that students do not ‘shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.’”
CAIRO, Ga. (WALB) - The Grady County School District said it’s investigating after band students knelt during the National Anthem and did not play their instruments.
This happened at Friday’s football game at Cairo High School.
WALB spoke with two men who went to Cairo High School and both have different opinions on whether the students' actions were okay, and how the school should move forward.
A former Cairo High School student, David Keen said he was at Friday night’s game.
“As an individual, I absolutely support their right to kneel and to not stand for the National Anthem. I’m not saying I don’t support their right to do that," said Keen.
A veteran who said he fought for their right to such things as kneeling during the National Anthem, Keen said he doesn’t think it’s in the best interest of the school to do it while in uniform.
“I don’t think the school can allow it to be in their uniform and remain impartial, because it’s speaking for the school, the staff and everyone," Keen said.
Keen said he absolutely agrees with believing in what you want to, but since everyone is under one student body, it’s not fair to those who may not agree with kneeling during the National Anthem.
He said this would also negate the school’s ability to stay impartial.
As his children are students at the school, and in extracurricular activities, Keen said he would teach them the same thing while they’re in uniform.
Another former Cairo High School student who wanted to stay anonymous believes differently.
“I’m glad that the students found a cause and did what they thought was right. It is well within their first amendment right to do so," he said.
He believes the first amendment covers the students, regardless of whether they’re in uniform. He said if the school is investigating, they should bring all students together on the issue.
“They should probably just call all the students together via Zoom or something and have a virtual town hall on how the students feel," he said.