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Published On: Thu, Feb 15th, 2018

San Francisco high school bans ‘outdated and racially offensive’ National Anthem from rallies

If you thought the NFL kneeling during the National Anthem was offensive, wait until you read about the student leaders at a high school in the San Francisco Bay Area, who have decided that the national anthem is racist and outdated and have banned it from school rallies.

The Associated Student Body at California High School in San Ramon made that decision based on a phrase in the rarely-played third verse.

photo Beverly & Pack

“It was brought to our attention that the national anthem’s third verse is outdated and racially offensive,” Ariyana Kermanizadeh wrote in an open letter. “We had nothing but good intentions by removing the song so that we could be fully inclusive to our student body.”

The line in question: “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.”

Kermanizadeh said the fact that the third verse is practically never played, and very few Americans even know the lyrics doesn’t matter — the entire song is tainted.

“We understand that this third verse is not included when the anthem is performed, but still, what does this tell us?”

She noted that “this song was written in 1814. That was written 204 years ago. Imagine all the traditions and laws that have changed … [and] so must our traditions.”

Fox News opinion columnist Todd Starnes asked rhetorically, “Where are the grownups in charge of this public school?” and called for his listeners to contact the school board.

“The Star Spangled Banner may have survived the bombs bursting in air, but it may not be able to withstand the rampaging mob of politically correct inclusivists,” he wrote.

To Starnes’ question, one grown up has responded: Elizabeth Graswich, director of communications for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.

Graswich emailed a statement to The Chronicle, emphasizing the students’ autonomy in making decisions on rallies.

“The students made their decision after learning that the third verse is seen as offensive to some groups,” Graswich wrote. “The ASB is committed to creating a school culture that is welcoming to all students.”

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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