A California high school has warned its students that chanting “USA!” at sporting events “could appear inappropriate and intolerant.”
The Washington Times reports Principal Lori Emmington of Vista Del Lago High School in Folsom, sent a letter home to parents noting that in the “school’s effort to promote ‘sportsmanship, empathy and kindness,’ they had opened up a discussion with dozens of students to determine when chanting ‘USA’ is and isn’t appropriate.”
It is appropriate, for example, after the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance or “any other patriotic event,” but during sports competitions it “might be confusing.”
CBS Sacramento reports that elsewhere in the country “USA!” chants “appeared to be used in derogatory ways toward opponents of different ethnicities,” and that the California Interscholastic Federation has addressed any concerns with its individual districts.
School officials worry the chants could come across as intolerant and offensive to some, but parents CBS13 spoke with see it differently, as an expression of pride and acceptance.
Mother Natalie Woodbury said, “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. ”
District officials say they want to make that there is no ban on chanting USA.
I’m glad that they will still allow our students to cheer for our country,” said Mother Cody Santero.
A chant [student Ryan] Bernal says will continue to be about uniting, not dividing.
“We’re all one. We all stand as one together.”
The district says there has never been a complaint about USA chants at the high school. Students say there’s likely to be a lot of chanting at this Friday’s football game, where the theme is USA pride.