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February 11, 2008

Altered anthem

In response to the events at Shawnee Mission West with regard to the singing of the national anthem (2/6, Local, “.‘Home of the Vikings’ isn’t welcome at West”): As a graduate of the school, I am well aware of the tradition of shouting “Vikings!” at the end of the anthem. I was also a member of the choir that sang the national anthem at many games.

Although I find the school spirit of the stands to be great, I have to agree with the principal on this issue. I don’t feel that students’ rights are being violated.

If you look at the doctrine of in loco parentis, which states that institutions like schools can act in place of the parent for the best interests of the students as they see fit, you’ll see that the protesting students have no standing.

The students may get mad that they can’t show their “spirit” the way they want to, but by no means are their rights being violated.

I think a lot of kids (and even some parents) don’t understand the position and authority the school has over students while they are there, which leads to confusion and protest.

Mike McNulty



Good afternoon mike d,

I've got shoes older than you, but respect your opinion on changing the words. To me to change it to (your favorite team here) alters the entire song. What kind of intent are you singing the song for if you are waiting to shout out your teams name at the end. Its like the boxer who thanks God for helping him beat the hell out of some.

But as far as the music behind it....marvin Gaye at the NBA all-star game, Lou Rawls at numerous fights and numerous country stars have given it memorable renditions.

mike d

As a graduate of SM West (83), I can tell you that this is not a longstanding tradition at the school. Sing the anthem with the respect that it deserves (right Chiefs fans?). As far as rights being violated - save your battles for something meaningful. Claiming that your rights are being violated because of this is an insult to people whose rights are actually being suppressed. Get a grip and find a cause worth fighting

Joe Barone

I don't think you should alter the national anthem, ever. Of course students need to show their spirit for their team, but they need to show their spirit for their country first. They fan cheer for the team after they've sung the song correctly. I have always felt I was among the most fortunate people ever born simply because I was born and live in the United States. The least I can do to say thanks is to sing the national anthem correctly.

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