PWCS Chairman reassures students they have right to sit out national anthem & pledge of allegiance

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

PRINCE WILLIAM CO., Va.-- Prince William County Public Schools Chairman Ryan Sawyers is speaking out after his tweet, in which he told students there would be no action taken against students who choose to sit out the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance, went viral.

The tweet also called President Trump a “bonafide idiot” after the president tweeted out calling for Marshawn Lynch’s suspension from the NFL for choosing to sit during the national anthem.

Sawyers said. “Ultimately, the president has made this, kind of a culture war, simply because he wants to distract from his tax reform plan that takes away deductions from teachers, from his immigration ban, from destroying the environment, and from destroying healthcare.”

Sawyers said he felt it important to remind students that they are protected, not only by the first amendment, but also Prince William County School regulations, which says that students can choose not to stand for the pledge or the national anthem so long as they do so peacefully without disrupting the education process.

Be that as it may, the backlash has been fierce.

One man tweeted out his vow to vote against Sawyer in the next election.
Another, called for him to be fired.

But others have shown their support for Sawyers, like one young man who said Prince William County is lucky to have him.

However, republican senate candidate and former Trump Chairman, Corey Stewart, said there could be dangerous long-term consequences of failing to teach children to respect the country.

He said while people have the right to disrespect the flag, people also have the right to condemn that disrespect.

“When you’re chairman of the school board, you have an obligation to send the right message to the kids and that message should always be, respect the flag, respect the anthem, respect the country, love the country that gave you all of these freedoms.”, said Stewart.

But Sawyers who has said that he and his wife stand up every time for the anthem and the pledge, said, “Just because I stand, doesn’t mean someone doesn’t have the right to sit or kneel as well to bring attention to any cause that they want to bring attention to, or simply for religious beliefs.”

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.