DPS Statement regarding Student Protest
Recent and consistent protests by members of the National Football League, coaches and team owners have sparked controversy and divisiveness among Americans. Initially, the athletes were asserting their disapproval of what they consider unnecessary use of force by police against African Americans by “taking a knee” or sitting, instead of standing during the national anthem at the opening of football games. The players say last weekend’s actions are warranted because of President Trump’s exclamation that team owners should fire any player who does not stand at attention for the anthem or flag. The president’s use of vulgarity in reference to those players has since rippled through the world of professional sports and its messaging has trickled down to school districts. Because professional athletes have a major impact on their younger counterparts, the Dayton Public School District is issuing this statement to students, their families, staff and the public:
Public school employees have the right to free speech, but the first amendment does not protect employees’ free speech that impedes or interferes with the orderly educational process. That same right is not protected if it encourages students to be disobedient or misbehave.
It is suggested that Dayton Public School students/athletes confer with their families about this issue.