A local high school in Northern California finds itself in the middle of a national debate over historical symbols and monuments after it dissuaded students from chanting “USA” at “sporting events and rallies.”
According to local news, district officials from the Vista Del Lago High School in Folsom, California warned students that chanting “USA” might appear “inappropriate and intolerant” to some students and their families.
“I wasn’t angry, but I was definitely like ‘Why can’t we chant USA?'” said a senior student at the high school. “To say USA, you know, we’re all the same. We’re all American. It doesn’t matter what your skin tone is or where you’re from.”
The patriotic chant became a campus-wide issue after school administrators brought up the topic at a leadership forum, saying students could “practice kindness” as well as “practice patriotism.”
“To practice empathy, to practice kindness and to practice patriotism. You can do both,” said a communications director from the district.
“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,” said a mother of one of the students.