Students at Capital High School (CHS) in Charleston, West Virginia have been regularly forced to stand during the playing of a song known as “The Black National Anthem.”
The song, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” was played in the morning right after the American national anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance, and students were forced to stand for all three. While the law currently states that no child can be compelled to stand for any kind of pledge, controversy only arose at CHS after two students and a parent complained about having to stand for the “Black National Anthem” (BNA).
To make matters worse, Clinton Giles, the black principal of CHS who made the requirement, allegedly ridiculed a child for his refusal to stand during the BNA. As the Daily Mail (the link to the original article is no longer valid) wrote:
Kim Bailey is the mother of one student who chose not to stand. She said the song is considered the “African-American National Anthem” and it was disrespectful to make students stand for it.
Her son chose not to stand and was sent to the office several times because of his decision, she said. She also said Giles made statements over the loudspeaker about the situation that “ostracized” her son.