Damascus High School Principal Pens Open Letter About National Anthem Protest



The principal of Damascus High School penned an open letter to the community about the recent national anthem protests ahead of Friday’s football game against Watkins Mill High School.

Last Friday, Watkins Mill High School football players knelt in protest during the national anthem and are expected to do so again at tomorrow’s game.

“Recently, a conversation has emerged about what the National Anthem means to different people and communities in the context of race relations in America. Some, including student athletes in Montgomery County schools, are participating in this conversation by kneeling or engaging in other silent protests during the performance of the National Anthem. While not an easy conversation, this can be a great opportunity to learn from one another. If we listen to each other on this issue, we will grow in our ability to respect and understand diverse perspectives within our community,” Damascus High School Principal Jennifer Webster wrote.

Carol Goddard, principal of Watkins Mill High School told MyMCMedia that she has been in contact with Webster ahead of the game. Goddard said that students are not just copying Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback who is credited for starting the protest. “It’s about [a] social movement and injustice,” Goddard said. “[The students] are just extending their constitutional right,” she said.

Watkins Mill High School hosted a town hall today to discuss protesting the national anthem and its bigger impact. A second town hall is scheduled to take place during lunch tomorrow.

According to Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Students Guide to Rights and Responsibilities, “Students will have the opportunity to participate in and/or watch patriotic exercises in school. Students have a right to not be compelled to participate in patriotic exercises, or be penalized or embarrassed for failure to participate. A student may not interrupt others who are participating in patriotic exercises.”

The Wolverines are scheduled to take on the Hornets at Damascus on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

You can view Webster’s open letter to the Damascus community in its entirety, below.

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Maureen Chowdhury

About Maureen Chowdhury

Maureen Chowdhury is a multimedia journalist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at mchowdhury@mymcmedia.org and on Twitter at @MediaMaureen. Maureen authors the blog Sound Check on MyMCMedia.


4 Responses to “Damascus High School Principal Pens Open Letter About National Anthem Protest”

  1. Avatar
    On September 15, 2016 at 9:52 pm responded with... #

    The three things that bring this country together are the
    Flag, National anthem and the pledge of aligence. These three things always unite. If these are devicive then we have a huge problem that doesn’t stand much hope of solving. To desecrate anyone of these to make a point as an American only weakens your cause and strengthens those against you even bring adversaries closer enlined. Our schools are failing to teach history and a pride in our own country. It is a sad day for educational institutions accross the country. Where is UNCLE SAM when u needed unity???

  2. Avatar
    On September 16, 2016 at 9:15 am responded with... #

    What a wonderful and measured response! I’m glad to see they’re taking this chance to respect individual rights and the rights of others. It sets a great civics example in a world that needs more of that.

  3. Avatar
    On September 16, 2016 at 5:29 pm responded with... #

    Just what, exactly, is the “injustice” that minorities claim? There are special programs, funds, scholarships and various aid designated for minorities…. What MORE do these people expect? They are given jobs before more qualified applicants. Society needs to be “careful” what they say so they don’t offend anyone, yet it’s okay for them to get in other peoples’ faces and mock them and belittle whoever they want without consequence. What the hell are we teaching our kids?
    Respecting our flag, our national anthem and our pledge of allegiance is something that should be taught and respected both in the classroom and on the field. NO EXCEPTIONS. This country needs to unite instead of being divided over such ridiculous crap such as this. SHAME ON THESE SO-CALLED EDUCATORS. I’m glad my kids are all out of these high schools now. 2 of my sons served proudly in the military, while my youngest couldn’t due to an illness, but he still, at the age of 20 respects the patriotism of this country.

    • Avatar
      On October 12, 2016 at 7:08 pm responded with... #

      I am sorry to hear the misunderstandings that these people have bout the educators and fellow citizens here at Watkins Mill. If anybody has realized, America started imrpoperly anyway. It was take or get taken situation. “We” stole the land from it’s rightful owners and forced people out. So if you wish to talk about the flag and anthem, why is it that only one National anthem is played. Why is it that we say “land of the free and home of the brave” if we discount, discriminate, and hate out of fear? And it’s not the flag that makes the country, it’s the people as CITIZENS that do. Was it our fault that the Europeans came in and made war left and right? No. Is it out fault that we don’t count that and actually think about how to completely change that to a positive situation? Yes. So please do not brag about serving. I have spoken to at least 20 veterans of DIFFERENT races, and they all say that they are proud that young people, such as myself are understanding government, and PROPER justice. Just because we fight, doesn’t mean it’s right. And by the way, Uncle Sam needs to be here for this upcoming election that will doom this Country one way, or another..

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