How will metro Atlanta schools handle potential protests to nati - CBS46 News

How will metro Atlanta schools handle potential protests to national anthem?

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

CBS46 is taking a closer look at how metro Atlanta schools are handling protests to the national anthem following protests by NFL players and players of other sports of police brutality against African Americans and President Trump.

Practice for Friday night's homecoming game for Benjamin E. Mays High School is intense. Coaches here know their opponent will be tough, but what they don't know is if students will chose to take a knee during the national anthem.

"It's solely based on the kid, they have the freedom of expression and they have that right. Whether or not they want to salute the flag or take a knee, or whatever, that's solely based on the kid," says Coach Niketa Battle.

Battle says he's not sure what to expect after increased attention on NFL players and coaches either kneeling in protest or standing together. 

"You never know what may happen this week, you know, I see it's more positive happening out there than negative," says Battle.

We reached out to metro Atlanta school districts and most don't have a specific policy on kneeling, but say students and employees are allowed freedom of expression.

Atlanta Public Schools says, "While the district encourages all students and employees to stand for the national anthem, their participation is not mandated."

Clayton County School says, "Students are allowed to protest peacefully." 

At Mays High School, Battle says he's not sure if he would kneel during the anthem, but there is one thing he's certain of.

"I live in the greatest country in the world, [the] United States, and I'm going to continue to salute the flag every time I hear the national anthem."  

Across metro Atlanta, exactly where players are during the national anthem varies, as some may be in the locker room at the time. But players for Mays High School will be on the field as the national anthem plays on Friday night.

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