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High school eliminates 'Star Spangled Banner' from pep rallies - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

High school eliminates 'Star Spangled Banner' from pep rallies

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(KNTV) - Before the start of any professional American sporting event or even a high school game or rally, you usually hear the national anthem.

But last month, a Bay Area high school decided to skip it during a winter rally.

“Maybe they forgot it, but I don’t understand how you could forget the national anthem,” said senior Dennis Fiorentino.

It turns out they didn’t forget.  

California High School’s leadership group has decided not to play the Star Spangled Banner at rallies.

At issue is the third verse of the anthem, which isn’t typically sung or played, but leaders at the San Ramon school say it's “outdated and racially insensitive.”

“We wanted to make sure that the national anthem wasn’t offensive to people,” said Ali Badain, Leadership vice president.

The leadership group says they can only exclude the anthem from events it organizes, meaning the song can still be played at games or other school events unless those organizers decide otherwise.

“I feel like they could have gone to the whole student body to hear from all the voices of the students,” Fiorentino said.

But Badain defended the decision, saying, “The student body elected representatives to vote for them.”

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