The spread of political correctness has been infecting public schools for some time now.
According to CBS, school officials at Vista Del Lago High School are concerned that chanting “USA” could be discriminatory and told their students to only do so at appropriate times. Students and parents responded by pushing back against the restriction with an upcoming USA themed event.
The precaution followed alleged incidents at other schools across the country where students were supposedly chanting “USA” in a derogatory fashion towards those of other ethnicities.
One example of this may have been last year’s controversy at a Frisco Wakeland vs. Brownsville Porter game last year, according to Dallas News. There the Frisco team’s chant of “USA” was seen as offensive because the opposing team is predominantly Hispanic.
Apparently, some took offense or considered the chant racist, but the school shrugged it off. Rusty Oglesby, the soccer coach, said they do it at every game “I can say, without hesitation, that they use it all the time. Back during the football season, they were chanting ‘USA!’ in a game against Frisco Centennial.”
Last year the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association issued a sweeping ban in their so-called “Sportsmanship Reference Guide.” Among the list of largely harmless chants and phrases not to be used at games was a ban on the chant “USA” saying it could be used in a potentially “disrespectful and inappropriate manner.”
The California Interscholastic Federation, no doubt under the same concerns of political correctness other schools have, issued a caution to the schools under its purview in regards to the USA chant. Mike Garrison, CIF’s Section Commissioner of Sac-Joaquin, stated: “There’s a time and a place to yell and cheer that.”
Daniel Thigpen, Communications Director for Folsom Cordova Unified, said people need to be self-conscious when expressing patriotism so as not to offend anyone, “To practice empathy, to practice kindness and to practice patriotism. You can do both.”
Students and parents were understandably upset at this restriction on patriotism. One Senior student, Ryan Bernal, said he was confused some would be offended. “I wasn’t angry, but I was definitely like, ‘Why can’t we chant USA?’ To say ‘USA’, you know, we’re all the same. We’re all American. It doesn’t matter what your skin tone is or where you’re from.”
A mother of one of the students, Natalie Woodbury, said her chanting “USA” is about inclusion and pride, not racism “I want to chant ‘USA’ because I want us to pull together and help, not because I want anybody to feel left out or not a part of our country.”
School officials claim that chanting “USA” could be discriminatory and sought to limit it. Can they do that?
District officials quickly backpedaled saying they did not issue a blanket ban on the ‘USA’ chant, just that they requested students to be mindful of when and how they use it. They’ve also informed students and parents that they have never received a complaint against the ‘USA’ chant, they were simply trying to avoid one occurring in the future.
Students of the high school were adamant in continuing the chant at sporting events, regardless of school officials concerns. The students stated that there would be a lot of chanting at today’s game, considering the theme will be USA pride.
If the chant is being used in an intentionally derogatory or inappropriate fashion and not out of patriotism, then it’s an understandable concern and school officials should take action, but the schools that have imposed a blanket ban on the chant to avoid potentially hurting feelings is definitely out of line.
It’s nice to see students and parents coming together in patriotism to push back against the imposition of political correctness. Hopefully, patriotism will continue to be part of sports events in the future and shouting “USA” won’t be cause for suspension or removal from a game.