UPDATE: St. Mary School Superintendent addresses Berwick High School football player kneeling

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BERWICK, La. (KLFY) UPDATE: St. Mary Parish Superintendent of Schools Leonard Armato provided a statement on the school district’s stance to students kneeling during the national anthem at school events.

Armato spoke with Morgan City Daily Review earlier this week on the issue.

“We expect and encourage our students to stand for the national anthem and the flag,” Armato said. “We also respect an individual’s first amendment right. As a system, we rather see an individual take the protest to another venue and not bring the protest to a high school event.”

Armato said the student’s decision to take a knee during the anthem is not a punishable offense.

ORIGINAL STORY:  A Berwick High School football player took a knee during Friday’s game against  Ascension Episcopal School, but the measure carried on extra significance because his father was kicked out of the stadium due to the protest.

Berwick High cornerback Keyon Singleton was the only member of his team to take a knee during the anthem.

Floyd Malveaux, Singleton’s father, said his son decided on his own that he would take a knee due to racial injustices and also because he is aware of the 3rd verse of the national anthem, which he says his son finds racist.

“After the anthem, but before the team took the field, I approached my son to tell him that I admired him and was proud of him.”

It was when Malveaux returned to the stands that he says another parent approached him and began swearing and using inappropriate language.

” I was cursed out, told to get the you know ‘what’ outta here and go sit the you know ‘where’ down. So of course Im not gonna take anyone talking to me like that and so it becomes a verbal altercation between the two of us.  However, when the police arrived I was told that I needed to leave, but not the other parent.”

KLFY reached out to the Berwick Police Department for comment, but so far our calls have not been returned.

“Keyon stands tall on what he believes in all the time. I try my best to raise him to show respect for authority and even in the midst of these adults, some who are attorneys, school teachers, police officers bashing and threatening him, he is still  being humble and remaining quiet about this situation.”
Although he was not present to witness the game, Malveaux said his son later told him that he was overcome with emotion at what happened but put his feelings aside and played his heart out.
In the end, Berwick beat Episcopal 49-15.
 

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