SAN RAMON (CBS SF) – A seldom sung third verse of the National Anthem has led to the patriotic song being removed from rallies at San Ramon’s California High School.

The decision has sparked a controversy among local residents and students.

In a letter to the student body published in the school newspaper, Associated Student Body President Ariyana Kermanizadeh wrote the decision to drop “The Star Spangled Banner” from the school’s winter rally was made after students became aware of the third verse.

“We had nothing but good intentions by removing the song so that we could be fully inclusive to our student body,” Kermanizadeh wrote. “More specifically, the third verse of our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, states:

“No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and home of the brave.”

“We understand that this third verse is not included when the anthem is performed, but still, what does this tell us?” Kermanizadeh continued.

The ASB’s decision means that the Anthem will not be sung before any rallies for the remainder of the year.

While many students supported the decision, others voiced their opposition to the move in the student newspaper.

Senior Amir Udler told the paper – “It comes from a very disrespectful place,” said Udler “[Leadership] said it was in the name of ‘exclusivity’, but in reality, [leadership] is disenfranchising the vast majority of the school who loves the country, and who thinks the anthem should be played.”

Senior Dennis Fiorentinos also disagreed telling The Californian: “I respect their decision to make the change and I understand why they did it, but I feel that the anthem doesn’t stand for that. I feel that California High School honoring and respecting those who have died protecting our freedom is more important.”

Comments (4)
  1. You Gi says:

    love how ignorant students prove their cowardice and show how wrong they are at being free….cowards…pure little wee wee people…..go to iraq and get an education….. and keep your pride..maybe youll learn some respect.

  2. My father use to say “If you think before you speak, you’ll find you have nothing to say”. The students or more specifically ‘Ariyana Kermanizadeh’ have no idea what the verse is about. Look it up!

  3. Here, I’ll help you. It’s obvious that neither you nor your educators at Sam Ramone High School are clueless and ill educated.

    Meaning of Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Verse 3

    ● Francis Scott Key describes the British as arrogant and boastful in the lyrics ‘that band who so vauntingly swore’
    ● He is venting his anger at the British with the “foul footsteps’ pollution” lyrics inferring that the British poisoned the ground on which they walked
    ● But the poison and corruption had been washed away by the blood of the British
    ● The Star Spangled Banner lyrics “the hireling ” refers to the British use of Mercenaries (German Hessians) in the American War of Independence
    ● The Star Spangled Banner lyrics “…and slave” is a direct reference to the British practice of Impressment (kidnapping American seamen and forcing them into service on British man-of war ships). This was a Important cause of the War of 1812
    ● Francis Scott Key then describes the Star Spangled Banner as a symbol of triumph over all adversity