A group of high school students attending a conservative leadership conference in Washington, D.C. said they were ordered by a security guard to stop singing the national anthem during a June 25 visit to the Lincoln Memorial.
“They told them to stop singing,” said Evan Gassman, a spokesman for the Young America’s Foundation. “I was taken aback. You wouldn’t expect a display of national patriotism to be censored."
U.S. Park Police confirmed that the students were in violation of federal law and their impromptu performance constituted a demonstration in an area that must remain “completely content neutral.”
“The area they were standing in and singing is an area that is restricted for this type of activity,” said Sgt. David Schlosser. “The United States Park Police is absolutely content-neutral when it comes to any sort of demonstrations in these areas.”
Schlosser explained that performances, regardless of content, are banned to “maintain a contemplative and reverent area for the Lincoln Memorial, for the other guests and visitors.”
Schlosser said the students would have been in compliance had they moved approximately 25 steps from where they were standing.
“It’s not the content of their activity – that being the national anthem – it’s the location,” he said. “A couple steps and it would have been no problem whatsoever.”
Instead of doing as they were instructed, Gassman said the students resumed the song – an impromptu form of civil disobedience.
So, what do you think?
Civil disobedience or disrespectful?
I am all for signing the National Anthem and it is nice to see high school kids doing it but is there a time and place?
What are your thoughts?