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Whitney Young students kneel during pep rally

Brandon Portillo, Staff Writer

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The Whitney Young pep rally is one of the best events of the year. Students dress up in school colors and everyone marvels at the amazing performances. Guys and Dolls, the Whitney Young cheerleading team, and Poms put on fantastic performances for the student body. The band really set the mood with their lively music and the choir made quite an impression. During the National Anthem, a majority of the choir kneeled along with members of the band and students in the crowd.  

Kneeling during the National Anthem started when NFL player Colin Kaepernick began the gesture at a preseason game. Kneeling was a way to silently protest the injustices against oppressed people of color and to take a stand against systemic racism in our country. Many took the gesture as an afront to the military and found it disrespectful to veterans.

The choir kneeling was planned. Ellie Lynch ‘18, a member of the choir, was among those kneeling. On the controversy, Ellie had this to say: “In choir, we were warming up and Dr. Kenner came in with members of the administration and they explicitly told us that it was our choice if we wanted to kneel. The linking arms was to show unity even if people didn’t kneel.” While people remain divided on whether or not to kneel, Whitney Young students showed why the student body is special by standing united in spite of their different viewpoints.

Photo of Choir by Brandon Portillo


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The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.
Whitney Young students kneel during pep rally