Castalia cheerleaders benched for talking during anthem

CASTALIA, Ohio - Two Margaretta Local School District cheerleaders were benched because of their behavior during the national anthem at a basketball game last week, according to the superintendent.

"Our athletic director observed some of our girls on the squad not paying full attention, standing at ease and were talking during the anthem," said superintendent Dennis Mock.

Mock said the punishment was sitting out for a weekend game. He said the larger goal is to teach students about acceptable decorum.

A school hallway is dedicated to the achievement of graduates, some who served and died in action. Alumni pictures and uniforms hang on the wall.

"Chuck Adkins was killed in Afghanistan and Herman Gant was killed in Vietnam," said principal Rod Smith.

According to Smith, the Margaretta Local School District is larger than the communities it serves. It's one of many reasons why school officials say they wanted to set the standard.

"Respect the flag and what it stands for, not only for the people in the armed forces, but our police, EMTs that put their lives on the line each day," Mock said.