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Triangle schools say it's OK to 'take a knee'

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Following the lead of pros, lower levels of football are having the conversation.

Durham Public Schools is not going to stop students and athletes from kneeling during the national anthem.

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Controversy about NFL players and coaches kneeling and locking arms during the National Anthem is expected to happen locally.

School leaders say similar demonstrations will be allowed at middle and high school games in Cumberland Durham, and Wake counties.

On Tuesday, Durham's school district released a statement saying the national anthem will be played, and the district will honor athletes' First Amendment right to stand or kneel.

Wake County Schools said something similar but added students demonstrations should have "decorum."

The protest against police brutality and racial discrimination has swelled into a movement started by former football player Colin Kaepernick.

But the idea of some Durham student athletes getting down on one knee like the professionals doesn't sit well with some people.

Kyle Walker believes the issue has become too political.

"I think it needs to be left out of it," Walker said. "Let's continue to worship our flag."

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NFL fans are burning gear and tickets to show their disapproval of their team's decision to protest social injustice during the national anthem.

Eric Cozart, a father of two, disagrees.

Cozart said his 10-year-old son plays football for a recreation league.

He's encouraging his son and his friends to kneel.

"It's about what's going on in this world. It's about Black Lives Matter," Cozart said. He said he is also boycotting the NFL altogether.

Tuesday afternoon, Duke University's football coach David Cutcliffe weighed in on the controversy.

"I understand standing and locking arms. That makes sense to me, but to criticize someone and I don't know their heart and their mind - I would never publicly criticize someone else. I haven't walked in their shoes," Cutcliffe said. "I want young people particularly to understand a little bit more about what they're doing."

Durham Schools said it is also teaching students to be respectful of those who want to practice their free speech.

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politicsdurham county newsdurham public schoolswake county schoolsboycottprotestnflDurham
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