Another parent suggested the video could have highlighted honor through sacrifice, such as students giving up their Saturdays to rake the yards of the elderly or clean a local park.
One Cobb resident explained, "Given other issues in Cobb County School District -- Confederate dress-up day -- it's infuriating they would dismiss the very real reasons why players are kneeling. Anyway, I think CCSD needs to educate their schools about students' right not to stand."
Principal Laura Montgomery heard the concerns and sent out an email to parents:
In this video, the students decided to use a scenario involving the Pledge of Allegiance with a student remaining seated. Following the explanation of the word honor, the video demonstrated how an individual could show honor by standing for the pledge. The next scene showed the previously seated young lady standing for the pledge and ended with a picture which paid tribute to our armed forces.
While the video was seen by a small number of faculty members, it was not viewed by an administrator prior to airing. Moving forward, all videos will be previewed by an administrator and we have engaged the faculty in a discussion about guiding children away from controversial topics when they are planning and filming explanations of the Character Education word.
I want you to know that Hightower Trail is an amazing school and we honor all students. One of our goals is to teach respect for every individual. I will be talking to the students on the Husky News Network on Friday morning and will emphasize to all of our students that one of the amazing qualities of our country is one's right to respectfully hold one's own opinion.
Many people believe that failing to stand for the pledge of allegiance or the national anthem signifies hatred of America. They cannot accept you can be a loyal American and still choose to kneel or sit. I was raised in a household that flew the flag and only bought American cars. My mother was the daughter of immigrants and became a fierce “love it or leave it” patriot. But that’s because she felt America welcomed and supported her. For those who feel America does not love or support them, it is not as simple.
Those condemning the athletes and cheerleaders kneeling to protest racism and police shootings ought to remember that angry mobs attacked the Freedom Riders integrating buses and the North Carolina college students who attempted to sit at white-only lunch counters. In polls in the 1960s, the majority of white Americans didn't support these civil rights activists even though we recognize them now as heroes.
There is a wide racial divide in how Americans regard the silent protests of athletes. Last year, a Quinnipiac University Poll found white Americans disapproved of the protests by a margin of 63 percent to 30 percent. But black Americans approved 74 percent to 17 percent.
Perhaps, the next concept for the students and the rest of us to tackle should be empathy.