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HS Creates Diversity Group After Players Kneel

Andy Berg

Four high school football players in Michigan who knelt during the national anthem have prompted their school and community to address some thorny issues.

Doug Moore, principal at Lansing Catholic High School, in Lansing, Mich., sent an email to students, parents and teachers announcing a new “multicultural diversity student group” aimed at creating a “safe space for students to talk about issues of race and ethnicity and build bridges of unity and respect.”

The four players who knelt during the national anthem were doing so as a way of peacefully protesting an overall culture of racism. School administrators had informed them they would not be able to start if they knelt during the anthem. 

Marcie Abdullah, the parent of football player Matthew Abdullah who was one of the four players that knelt, told the Lansing State Journal that she hopes the group will allow kids to talk about sensitive issues that are often ignored. “Do I think this alone will take care of things?” Marcie Abdullah said of the diversity group. “No. But I do think it’s a start.”

Parents of the four players who knelt during the anthem also sent a letter to school administrators, asking for several reforms that would promote diversity and address racism. On of the reforms mentioned in the letter included sensitivity training for staff, students and administrators.  

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