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Louisiana high school will kick students off team if they don’t stand for national anthem

Members of the Buffalo Bills players kneel during the national anthem. (Jeffrey T. Barnes/AP)

A high school in northwest Louisiana will punish students with suspensions or removal from sports teams if they demonstrate during the national anthem.

Principal Waylon Bates of Parkway High School in Bossier Parish called such demonstrations a “disruption” in a letter sent Thursday to students and parents.

“Parkway High School requires student athletes to stand in a respectful manner throughout the National Anthem during any sporting event in which their team is participating,” he wrote. “Failure to comply will result in a loss of playing time and/or participation as directed by the head coach and principal. Continued failure to comply will result in removal from the team.”

President Trump last week at a campaign rally for a failed Senate candidate called for NFL owners to fire players who knelt during the national anthem before games to protest racial injustice and police violence.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired,’ ” Trump said.

At a political rally for Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), President Trump called on NFL owners to fire players who kneel during the national anthem. (Video: Reuters)

Trump won Bossier Parish in the 2016 election by 47 percent of the vote, and all of Louisiana by 20 percent.

In response to his remarks, every NFL team this past week made some sort of demonstration during the anthem. The Seahawks and Titans refused to take the field during the anthem. The Cowboys, including owner Jerry Jones, an avowed Trump supporter, knelt as a team before the anthem to show unity with the rest of the league.

Other teams, including Washington, locked arms during the anthem before its Sunday night game against Oakland. Many of the Raiders players sat on the bench during the anthem.

U.S. athletes have a long history of protesting during the national anthem. Here is how some competitors have used their platform to protest. (Video: Taylor Turner, Amber Ferguson/The Washington Post)

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