Student leaders at a high school in the San Francisco Bay Area have decided that the national anthem is racist and outdated and have banned it from school rallies.
According to multiple area news outlets, the Associated Student Body at California High School in San Ramon made that decision based on a phrase in the rarely-played third verse.
“It was brought to our attention that the national anthem’s third verse is outdated and racially offensive,” Ariyana Kermanizadeh wrote in an open letter. “We had nothing but good intentions by removing the song so that we could be fully inclusive to our student body.”
She said the decision was made when students learned about the third verse, which includes the line “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,” during planning for the winter rally. It applies for the rest of the school year.
Ms. Kermanizadeh said the fact that the third verse is practically never played, and very few Americans even know the lyrics doesn’t matter — the entire song is tainted.
“We understand that this third verse is not included when the anthem is performed, but still, what does this tell us?” she said.