Published Saturday, February 09, 2013
My daughter attends and plays basketball for Flint River Academy in Woodbury. During the 2012 season, we traveled to Harvester Christian School in Douglasville. The whistle blew to start the game, and I realized they did not play our National Anthem.
I loudly asked, “What about the National Anthem?” Many of those around me had the same feeling, but no response was given from Harvester Christian School.
Last week, I escorted my daughter to her game at Harvester Christian School. There was no National Anthem. Again, I loudly asked, “What about the National Anthem?” This time, the absence of response was not acceptable. I inquired why this school would not start athletic events with our National Anthem.
The boy’s basketball coach said, “I don’t know.” A scoreboard official said, “No, I really don’t know. I ain’t really thought about it.”
In my distress, I asked him if he thought our soldiers or veterans might be offended because the National Anthem wasn’t played. He said, “Take this up with the headmaster.”
I asked Joel Slater, headmaster, the same question. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “No reason, I guess, just haven’t done it.”
I can’t believe three supposedly responsible adults could not tell me the answer to this simple question. It is hard to swallow that these people in roles of leadership are not setting an example for youth.
Part of our country’s problem is we have moved away from the core values of our foundation. When we accept loud concert-type music to introduce an athletic competition but deny our citizens the right to participate in the National Anthem, our sense of patriotism, honor and pride is compromised. Our veterans and military members should be appalled.
I offered to purchase a CD of the National Anthem and a piece of equipment to play it, but Mr. Slater said they could get one if they wanted one.
I implore patriotic citizens, school staff, students, school alumni, board members, veterans, active military members, school partners and others to join me in addressing this negligence.
Gene King, Alvaton