Caledonia student claims suspension for national anthem, school says otherwise

A Caledonia High School student is suspended after he says he put his hands behind his back during the national anthem.

Posted: Oct 29, 2017 8:05 AM
Updated: Oct 29, 2017 8:05 AM

CALEDONIA, Miss. (WTVA) - A Caledonia High School student is suspended after he says he put his hands behind his back during the national anthem.

However, the school says he was suspended for a separate student issue.

This comes on the heels of similar story when some Starkville High School volleyball players took a knee during the national anthem at New Hope High School.

The suspended Caledonia student, Chase Neal, plays basketball for the high school.

He said there was a slam-dunk contest held in the school gym on Monday.

As the anthem played, he said he and a few other players put their hands behind their backs after the basketball coach gave them the option to do so.

The next day Neal found himself in the principal's office.

Neal said he thought the principal was going to talk to him about a prior issue but instead discussed what he did during the national anthem.

"The principal called me back and he started talking about -- what was wrong with you guys? Why did you disrespect our flag? I asked him why am I in here? And he told me I don't know," Neal said.

After that conversation, Neal said he was told to leave.

His grandfather, Willie Humphries, said he spoke with the superintendent and said he was told Neal was disrespectful.

When Neal returned to school on Monday he was put into In School Suspension (ISS).

"There was an encyclopedia and they told me to write everything out and I said I don't think my parents and grandparents would like me doing this," Neal said.

Unrelated to Monday's incident, Neal said there were other students in the ISS classroom.

After Neal refused to re-write what was in the encyclopedia, he was told he would be suspended for three days and would not be able to come back to school until next week.

Contrary to Neal's claims, the school said Neal was not suspended for his actions during the national anthem.

"The student was not suspended for any actions regarding the flag or the national anthem," Superintendent Lynn Wright said.

Two other students on the basketball team who put their hands behind their backs tell WTVA they were told if they did that again, they would be kicked off of the basketball team.




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