McIntosh students disrespect our national anthem

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.