JPSO deputies refuse Bonnabel detail after players kneel during anthem
KENNER, LA (WVUE) - Some Jefferson Parish deputies are refusing to work extra detail shifts at Bonnabel High School football games after a majority of the team took a knee during the national anthem during last weekend's football game.
A picture, captured by someone through a fence at the game, shows what appears to a vast majority on one knee before the game.
"I was a bit taken aback at first. Keep in mind, I know what is happening nationally with some of the protests that's happening across the country," Jefferson Parish Public Schools Superintendent Isaac Joseph said.
Joseph admits, though, that the students are within their rights to stand or kneel for the flag.
"They do have a right, and legally we do not have any right to punish or offer any sanctions against the team or team members," Joseph said.
One team member posted a photo on social media after the game of the team kneeling on the sideline, writing: "It [sp] a shame that my teammates really my brother can't express themselves without being labeled as the bad guy."
But after that expression, some Jefferson Parish deputies took offense to the display.
"My understanding is, we've had some officers that said they will not work the Bonnabel High football games," Sheriff Newell Normand said. "I understand why, in light of Colin Kaepernick's comments, specifically when he says, 'Cops are getting paid leave for killing people.' That's not right, that's not right by anyone's standards. The fact of the matter is we risk our lives each and every day for the safety and security of our constituency throughout this country."
Now some deputies won't sign up for the volunteer security detail because the players took a knee.
"That is a voluntary detail, so I suspect I will have some officers refuse to work the Bonnabel High School games," Normand said. "The same way that the Bonnabel players have every right to kneel during the national anthem, my officers have every right not to volunteer to work the Bonnabel high school football game."
Normand said there are still plenty of deputies who will work the extra duty detail and he won't let the school go without protection, but he won't force his deputies to work a detail that they feel disrespects their job.
"That fuels the disappointment in my officers when they see this happen, and I can fully understand their disappointment and frustration," Normand said. "When they're on the clock and they're working for me, they've got to do what they've got to do, because that's what they're hired to do. That's not what this is - this is a voluntary detail where they volunteer to work this extra detail separate and apart from what they're hired to do."
Normand said his deputies sometimes won't volunteer for security details during concerts or events if they don't agree with the artist or message.
Bonnabel faces Landry-Walker in Algiers on Friday.
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