(National Sentinel) Transformation: A high school sophomore in Homestead, Ind., was suspended for three days for standing and singing the National Anthem in the school’s cafeteria.
According to WPTA-ABC21, a cell phone video obtained this week shows Homestead High School sophomores and juniors standing and singing the national anthem inside the school cafeteria in support of William Schweikert, a fellow classmate who received three days detention for singing the song.
As of Tuesday evening, some 1,700 people, most of whom are students at the school, signed an online petition in protest of the school’s decision to discipline Schweikert.
The local station interviewed Schweikert and his mother, Kathy, Tuesday afternoon. The high schooler said he first sang the National Anthem right after the mass shooting at Parkland, Fla., in February in response to calls for more gun control and because many NFL players were kneeling during the playing of the anthem last season.
He said he sang the national song several weeks later and was called to the principal’s office, where the student says he was told, “You shouldn’t have done that.”
But Schweikert did sing the song again, which then led to a punishment of three days’ worth of lunch suspension.
The punishment triggered an outpouring of support from his fellow classmates.
“So the entire sophomore and junior classes sang the national anthem in my honor,” said Schweikert. “Then the next day, all the administrators were in the lunches surrounding the cafeteria to make sure nobody would sing it.”
Kathy Schweikert agreed there is a “time and place” for singing the song and, thus, was okay with the school’s punishment.
However, she said she’s proud of her son’s patriotism and bravery in standing up for his beliefs.
WPTA reported that school officials refused to comment saying they don’t discuss student disciplinary measures.
It’s not clear why it’s not permissible to sing the National Anthem at Homestead High School.