McIntosh students disrespect our national anthem

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 4:58pm
By: Letters to the ...

I have lived in Fayette County for almost 15 years and have been proud of the patriotism exhibited by our citizens toward the flag, the national anthem, and our veterans.

On Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010, I was greatly disturbed by the behavior of the vast majority of 300-plus McIntosh students that attended the basketball game at Starr’s Mill High School. Before the varsity boys’ game, a Starr’s Mill student sang the national anthem a cappella. All of the students stood and faced the flag.

As the soloist was ending the anthem, the McIntosh students sang loudly, drowning her out. The final phrase “and the home of the brave” was replaced by McIntosh students with “and the home of the Chiefs.”

This is the second time during this school year that I have heard the MHS student body change the final words of our National Anthem at a sporting event. The other was on Dec. 4 at the McIntosh-Starr’s Mill basketball game in the McIntosh gym at which time they did not completely drown out the singer.

I spoke to the wife of a disabled Vietnam veteran after the game; she was quite upset by the incident. Since that evening, I have also spoken to others that were appalled by the MHS students’ behavior.

I am concerned with the regional tournament approaching us, that MHS students will repeat this behavior at games. I believe that if they do, this will create a poor image of McIntosh High School and Fayette County in general.

It is my opinion that McIntosh should write a letter of apology to the Starr’s Mill soloist. I believe that she is owed that.

I don’t know what the school can do to amend the hurt feelings of the veterans and other patriots that had to endure the desecration of our National Anthem. One step would be to ensure it never happens again.

Carol Jensen-Linton

Peachtree City, Ga.

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Submitted by MHS422 on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 9:57pm.

I do realize our veterans fought for our right of free speech, which is exacly what we are exercising. I am not trying to put down the importance of our men and women in uniform in the least bit. I am not ignorant to the sacrifices they make on a daily basis, but I am sure many of them would want us to enjoy the freedom that they fought so hard for us to keep. This issue is never going to be resolved, locally or anywhere else, I assure you McIntosh is not the only school that does this. Maybe instead of writing petty articles about high schoolers changing the last word of the national anthem (we were not disrespectful throughout the song, we merely changed the final word to show spirit) we should be writing articles about those who do serve so that your children can excercise their freedom of speech and obtain an education. This is my final post because, like I stated earlier, this issue will not be resolved.

Submitted by Spyglass on Sun, 02/14/2010 - 12:10pm.


Submitted by AtHomeGym on Sun, 02/14/2010 - 3:29pm.

Spy you may be right but what I know is that the next day I would have paid the Principal a visit. And the fact that she doesn't have a child in school is irrelevant--she's a concerned citizen who was ticked (as I would have been) at the lack of respect to both the person who sang the Anthem and the Anthem itself. Those students who participate in such irreverant activities should be ashamed and so should their parents & teachers. Civics Lessons All Around!

Submitted by jevank on Sun, 02/14/2010 - 3:49pm.

I also would have talked to the principal or the school board or the students. I would not have written a letter to the editor spouting the lack of respect from all students at one school.

Submitted by Just Saying on Sun, 02/14/2010 - 7:35am.

Who among us, while attending a major league baseball game at Turner Field, has not proudly sung "...and the home of the BraveS!"?

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Sun, 02/14/2010 - 8:40am.

That would be me--and never would I comtemplate such a thing. I'm with Terry on this one--don't mess with the National Anthem. If you want to show school spirit, come up with your own words at a different time.

Submitted by PTC Avenger on Sun, 02/14/2010 - 10:53am.

Get off it already. I always find it funny how people seem to care more about preserving our national anthem than our actual country. Yeah, we're being invaded by Mexicans and Third Worlders, our economy is crumbling all around us, we're in the crosshairs of international terrorists, Americans are treated like second class citizens in airports, we have a fanatical leftist in the White House, our cell phones are being tracked by the government...but hey, it's all good because this is "the land of the free and the home of the brave."


dawn69's picture
Submitted by dawn69 on Sun, 02/14/2010 - 11:48am.

I think Gym and Terry care very much about preserving our country and have paid a high price in doing so.

"The most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller

Submitted by tgarlock on Sat, 02/13/2010 - 5:45pm.

Carol, I applaud your passion about the National Anthem, but I have a slightly different view to offer.

A year ago at a softball game my daughter's teammates were getting wound up in the dugout with their loud chants, the ones I wish they'd give up altogether but it lets off steam and is part of the game. One of the girls cooked up a chant that was a takeoff on the National Anthem, and the first time I heard it I was bothered but kept my seat. The second time I heard it I walked over to the dugout and said to the girls "KNOCK IT OFF!" My mortified daughter - parents are SO embarrassing - asked why and I told her "Our National Anthem is sacred, leave it alone, it's not to play with!"

The girls didn't repeat that chant ever again, and I know they meant no disrespect, they just weren't thinking, they were playing and needed a reminder of how important the National Anthem SHOULD BE to them and every other American.

My daughter will be going to McIntosh in 2 years and when I hear them play with the National Anthem I'll be bothered, I might keep my silence to save my daughter from fatal mortification, and I'll know they mean no disrespect to our troops or our country but are just playing with something they should not play with. I may have to be satisfied teaching my daughter where the line is, and by then she might not be listening any more, you know how kids are but we do what we can. And kids want to be part of the crowd, not some geeky do-gooder and way too serious to have fun.

Changing a few words at the end to redefine where home is? I don't like it at all, especially when it is used to poke a finger in the other team's eye, but that's one battle I'll probably limit to a discussion with my own kid. Then she will have to decide.

Terry Garlock

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Sun, 02/14/2010 - 3:36pm.

you will be able to remain silent--for you to do so would lend credence to those don't understand and you just ain't made that way-- and if you need backup, I'm there!

Submitted by jeep2 on Sat, 02/13/2010 - 3:30pm.

Really people, is there nothing else to be concerned about than kids showing some school spirit and having fun?? So they shouted out "home of the chiefs" at the end. If they were disruptive and otherwise showing disrespect for our flag and anthem, then there might be something to discuss. McIntosh has no need to write a letter of apology to the soloist.
Must be a slow month for the New Neighbors League and Ms. Jensen-Linton has nothing else to do but stir up something that doesnt exist and further the "us vs. them" attitude between the two schools.

Submitted by MHS422 on Fri, 02/12/2010 - 12:52pm.

I am senior at McIntosh, and would just like to say the tradition of saying "and the home of the Chiefs," has been going on since I was a freshman and there has never been a problem with it. I know several students that have parents in the military or plan to enlist in the military that take part in this display of school spirit. I don't think it is practical to cause so much friction now over something that has been taking place for years. I apologize if it has offended anyone (which it obviously has), but it is only intended to show school spirit, not to disrespect our troops.

Submitted by PTC Observer on Sat, 02/13/2010 - 2:41pm.

Lad, you have a lot to learn and I am assuming that the students at MHS have just as much to learn. If you want to show your team spirit, do it a different way.

"home of the brave"

What do you think this phrase of our National Anthem means?

The brave men and women at Valley Forge?
The men at Gettysburg?
The Big Red One at Soissons?
The airmen that died over Europe?
The Marines at Tarawa beach?
The Marines at Chosin Reservoir?
The Air Force and Navy airmen over Hanoi?
How about the Marines at Khe Sanh?

Or do you want to get more specific?

How about Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor at Ramadi, Iraq.

Look it up son, and you will understand the phrase,

"home of the brave"

Show respect for these men and women, without them you just might not have a the freedom of "team spirit". Tell your classmates what you have learned and tell them to show some respect.

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Sun, 02/14/2010 - 3:44pm.

Great post! Incidentally, My Daughter graduated from McIntosh in 1988 and none of that crap went on then!

Submitted by runningmom on Fri, 02/12/2010 - 12:08pm.

The most interesting thing here is Carol Jensen-Linton does not even have a child in either school. Her child graduated from Starr's Mill years ago. These were just kids being kids. I was just happy to see 600+ kids at a high school ballgame supporting thier teams. The students were excited and the players were excited. I always hear parents complain about students not caring and having no spirit. Tuesday night was a great example of school spirit and rivalry. Most of these kids know each other and are friends. If you went by McDonald's afterwards, you would have seen a group of students from both school eating together. Sometimes McIntosh wins and sometimes Starr's Mill wins. Either way, the students come out to see a good game and a good rivalry. I would hate to see adults start picking at everything the kids do at the games. Both schools have had moments of poor sportsmanship and moments of great sportsmanship. On the rare occasion some students have carried things too far, but that is the exception and not the attitude or character of the entire student body of either school. Let the kids continue the rivalry and if you don't like it, don't come to the game. Expecially if you don't have a child in the school.

Submitted by MYTMITE on Sun, 02/14/2010 - 7:36pm.

That song is out National Anthem and represents our country. It should be shown respect. I am sure the students meant no disrepect. That is why we have young people and adults;so parents can correct the young people when they do things such as this. It can be done in a nice way such as a memo to all students and parents reminding them of the solemnity of the song and what it represents and asking them to refrain from using it in such a manner and suggesting they find another way to support their team. More and more people are showing less and less respect for the important things in life. When my children were teen-agers they started to say "Oh, God" with the usual eye roll when they heard something they did not want to hear.
I told them there would be conequences if I heard it again--of course I heard the usual "We didn't mean anything by it, everybody says it". I am no religious fanatic but I told them it would not be allowed. If children don't learn from their parents what is permitted or not permitted how are they going to learn? And if parents don't step up and stop making excuses how will they ever learn? I, personally, think it is commendable that someone who does not have a child in school is still supporting the school, don't you?

Submitted by PTC Observer on Sat, 02/13/2010 - 2:54pm.

"kids being kids"?

Dear enabling parent,

You need to go back to school mom and learn some history.

You can carry team spirit too far and they have when they use the National Anthem as some toy to play with to express it.

Stop marginalizing things that are important.


from a veteran that has seen brave men die. . . . home of the brave means something

Submitted by wesaywhatwewant... on Fri, 02/12/2010 - 9:38am.

Yes, yes, maybe yelling "Home of the Chiefs!" in the national anthem is not completely respectful, but at least McIntosh students are not the ones painting schools with obscene figures, such as you would find on a male. The students from the mill have painted McIntosh several times.....does that not count as disrespectful? I would think that is a little worse. The person who wrote this clearly has no idea what goes on in these two high schools, if she did then she would know that Starr's Mill produces the disrespectful kids. The chiefs have no reason to be disrespectful because they have the upper hand against the mill in every way. Sorry ma'am if you have no clue what you're talking about do not write in.

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Fri, 02/12/2010 - 10:52am.

I think you missed the point. This letter was not about how much better Starr's Mill kids are than McIntosh Kids. Carol observed a group kids acting disrespectful and said it needs to stop. That's it. at no time did she say my "kid is better than yours" or "you would never see this kind of thing at Starr's Mill. She didn't even mention which school her kid belongs to. She could very possibly be a McIntosh parent. Every time this sort of letter or story is published its always the same. (regardless of the accused school) Instead of the parents getting upset at the kids they get competitive with the parents of the other school and start pointing fingers. How is that constructive? What does that do to set an example for the kids?

Maybe the rivalry between the kids would calm down if the rivalry between the parents would calm down.

Submitted by Im just saying on Fri, 02/12/2010 - 5:54pm.

The point of her complaint was not missed. She ridiculed McIntosh for showing spirit at a high school game. She did not ridicule Starr's Mill for anything. She suggested the school administration stop the school spirit and have them appologize to the soloist. My dad is a veteran and is not offended by the school spirit, in fact he is very proud to say that thanks to all veterans these kids have the freedom of speech.

Submitted by wesaywhatwewant... on Fri, 02/12/2010 - 2:54pm.

You already know she is a typical parent from the mill who thinks that they are hot stuff because their kid went there. She has nothing better to do but find things to talk about.

Submitted by wildcat on Tue, 02/09/2010 - 8:16pm.

I find your commentary very interesting. I attended the area wrestling tournament this weekend where both the national anthem was sung a cappalla and MHS students were present. Shockingly, nothing like what you described happened. Perhaps the above described behavior could be attributed to in-county school rivalry? So, was replacing the word "brave" with the word "chief" inappropriate? Yes. Was it done to be hurtful and disrespectful to our veterans? No. It sounds as though you have forgotten what it is like to be a fan of your high school team (and a teenager). BTW, I have lived in Fayette County since 1988 and also have been proud of the patriotism exhibited by our citizens toward the flag, the national anthem and our veterans. I don't believe the kids meant any disrespect.

Submitted by HomeOfTheCheifs on Fri, 02/12/2010 - 9:12am.

Don't be upset that the Starrs Mill gym is the Cheifs Home away from Home in Basketball. Who cares if high school kids say that. There is no disrespect to the U.S. or the anthem. It's high school kids. If you had a high school career you would know that they are not thinking about what you and all the other parents are thinking. If the panthers would have won or even won the first time this article would not be in the paper, but since they cannot accept the loss/losses they have to resort to whining in the news paper. Do you think that there aren't any veterans of McIntosh students and families? Well there are, and many have people active in the army now and still say the chant. It's a tradition to saying home of the Cheifs and there is no disrespect being given and until another Starrs Mill parent gets the McIntosh administration to stop it, the chant will be continued.

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Submitted by hutch866 on Fri, 02/12/2010 - 10:27am.

Is a cheif different then a chief? Just asking.

I yam what I yam....Popeye

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