By Angela Greenwood

FOLSOM (CBS13) — Controversy erupts at Vista Del Lago High School in Folsom over students chanting “USA.”

It’s a popular way to for students to show pride during sporting events and rallies, but school and district officials are now warning students that the chants could appear inappropriate and intolerant.

“I wasn’t angry, but I was definitely like, ‘Why can’t we chant USA?'” said senior Ryan Bernal, “To say USA, you know, we’re all the same. We’re all American. It doesn’t matter what your skin tone is or where you’re from.”

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The chants are now causing chatter campus-wide after school staff brought up the topic to a leadership class.

Folsom Cordova Unified Communications Director Daniel Thigpen said, “To practice empathy, to practice kindness and to practice patriotism. You can do both.”

At some schools across the country, the chants appeared to be used in derogatory ways toward opponents of different ethnicities. The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), which oversees high school athletics, addressed the concerns with local districts.

“There’s a time and a place to yell that and cheer that,” said CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Commissioner Mike Garrison.

The school’s principal sent out an email to families Wednesday and relayed the same message to students over the school’s P.A. system, clarifying any confusion. She told students and parents that sometimes “We can communicate an unintended message.” She also said USA chanting is welcome, but it may be best to do it at what she says are appropriate times, like following the national anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance.

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School officials worry the chants could come across as intolerant and offensive to some, but parents see it differently, as an expression of pride and acceptance.

Mother Natalie Woodbury said, “I want to chant USA because I want us to pull together and help, not because I want anybody to feel left out or not a part of our country. ”

District officials say they want to make clear that there is no ban on chanting USA.

I’m glad that they will still allow our students to cheer for our country,” said Mother Cody Santero.

It’s a chant Bernal says will continue to be about uniting, not dividing.

“We’re all one. We all stand as one together,” she said.

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The district says there has never been a complaint about USA chants at the school. Students say there’s likely to be a lot of chanting at this Friday’s football game, where the theme is USA pride.

Comments (232)
  1. John Wirts says:

    WELLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!! My question is are LIBERAL GROUPS treated the SAME WAY?????????? IF not this is POLITICAL CENSORSHIP! A violation of the First Amendment, and all staff and faculty involved should be suspended, charged, tried and if found guilty fired and jailed!

  2. Dave Clark says:


  3. “There is a time, ” my red, white and blue American a**. Who do you think you are, commissar? LIBERALISM is a mental disorder. Step away from the disease and get help. And FIRE these disloyal control freak bastiges.

  4. If chants of USA USA USA offend you perhaps you should not be here.

    1. This is why some of us have a problem with immigration. If you have a problem with real Americans chanting U.S.A. or our flag, or our ways, you DON’T BELONG HERE! Go away from here where you can be happy.

  5. Maybe the offended ones are the prisoners at nearby Folsom State Prison, the notorious correctional facility. They’ll get over it, even the illegals who are imprisoned there at Folsom.

  6. Kim A Kirk says:

    But shouting Viva La Mexico has been approved…

  7. if the millionaire football plays can sit during the national anthem then you say USA all you want
    tell the school and district officials to kiss your USA ass

  8. John Wilson says:

    This is what you get with liberals.

  9. Tell them to kiss off and chant USA all day long !!!!!

  10. Dhodho Khabe says:

    Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel: Samuel Johnson

    1. Patriotism is a worldview that identifies ones’ self with a picture of his nation’s values. To be a patriot is not to be a scoundrel,Those who like to use this quote should be cautioned that Samuel Johnson was a Whig who opposed American Independence and the American Revolution.

      1. jsolbakken says:

        So, you’re saying that Sam Johnson was an idiot who thought that patriots were scoundrels? If that’s the case then I’m glad I never paid much attention to him.

    2. jsolbakken says:

      Sam Johnson was not saying that patriots were scoundrels, you silly person you. He was saying that scoundrels pretend to be patriots so they could evade being exposed as scoundrels. When thieves and gangsters give to charity, does that make charity and truly charitable persons bad? Of course not. So, you don’t look very sophisticated when you misuse a quote that way.

  11. Time to get rid of the socialists in our school system. They’re doing too good a job of dumbing down our kids and filling their heads with liberal nonsense, and attacking the few who haven’t listened to their propaganda.

  12. Poor youth, they can’t try anything due to the possibility of someone feeling bad about it… Now that is an education to be proud about: “Vista Del Lago H.S. ‘Don’t lead, just be quiet.'”

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