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Posted: September 30, 2017

Georgia high school football team runs onto field carrying American flags

A North Georgia high school football team ran out onto the field carrying American flags in what the school superintendent is calling a “unifying moment.”
(Photo courtesy Sonya Stanridge)
A North Georgia high school football team ran out onto the field carrying American flags in what the school superintendent is calling a “unifying moment.” (Photo courtesy Sonya Stanridge)

By WSBTV.com

FANNIN COUNTY, Ga. —

A North Georgia high school football team ran out onto the field carrying American flags in what the school superintendent is calling a “unifying moment.” 

Fannin County High School played Greater Atlanta Christian School Friday night.

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Superintendent Michael Gwatney said the “patriotic display” was organized by the team, coaches and parents.

“It was an awesome and unifying moment for the audiences on both sides of our stadium and reminded us that no matter what team we support, we are all Americans,” he said.

Gwatney said that while Fannin County may have lost the game, “our players certainly won the hearts of our community with the display of patriotism.”

The superintendent said the players ran out with the flags particularly as a sign of support for veterans and those currently serving in the armed forces.

He said the team is especially proud of one of their members who has already joined the military. 


Related

Texas high school football players kicked off team for protesting during national anthem

Two high school football players were kicked off the team following their protest during the national anthem Friday night.

Cedric Ingram-Lewis raised his fist as his cousin Larry McCullough knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Victory & Praise Christian Academy played Providence Classical, according to the Houston Chronicle.

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When the anthem ended, coach Ronnie Mitchem, a veteran who served as a Marine and started the school’s football program six years ago, asked the players to take off their uniforms and dismissed them from the team.

"He told us that disrespect will not be tolerated," Ingram-Lewis told the Chronicle about what Mitchem said after the anthem. "He told us to take off our uniform and leave it there."

Mitchem had instructed players previously not to kneel, citing his military service. He suggested players could kneel after scoring a touchdown, or that they could write and hand out a flyer about the issues.

"Like I said, I'm a former Marine. That just doesn't fly, and they knew that. I don't have any problem with those young men. We've had a good relationship. They chose to do that, and they had to pay for the consequences,” Mitchem said.

Ingram-Lewis’s mother Rhonda Brady supports her son and nephew and was surprised by Mitchem’s decision.

"I'm definitely going to have a conversation, because I don't like the way that that was handled," Brady told the Chronicle. "But I don't want them back on the team. A man with integrity and morals and ethics and who truly lives by that wouldn't have done anything like that. Actions speak louder than words. So, for him to do what he did, that really spoke volumes, and I don't want my kids or my nephew to be around a man with no integrity."

Substitute teacher kneels for pledge, sparks debate at school

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Substitute teacher kneels for pledge, sparks debate at school

A Littleton school is addressing parents and students after a substitute teacher knelt during the Pledge of Allegiance Thursday. 

According to a letter sent out from the Russell Street School’s principal, Scott Bazydlo, a substitute teacher knelt during the pledge. 

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"While this topic is timely and does have educational merit, it should be addressed sensitively and age-appropriately by permanent faculty and inclusive of the beliefs of all children and families,” Bayzdlo’s letter reads. 

The principal says students and parents brought the incident to the school’s attention, and the substitute teacher proceeded to talk to students about her political views. 

“The Littleton Public Schools respects the rights of all individuals to participate or respectfully abstain from participating in the Pledge of Allegiance,” the principal wrote. “However, in our roles as educators, it is imperative we provide students all sides of an issue like this and allow them to form opinions with guidance from parents.”

Bazydlo says the move was inappropriate, as the teacher is not a permanent member of the faculty and it was outside the plans of the classroom’s teacher. 

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