East Carolina University faculty supports band protests

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The faculty senate at East Carolina University is supporting students’ free speech rights after a protest in which some band members knelt during the national anthem at a football game.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported (http://bit.ly/2eDD2e5) that the Greenville school’s faculty resolution Tuesday also condemned violence or intimidation directed at the students or the community. Kneeling protests against police shootings of African-Americans have occurred at other universities.

Nineteen band members knelt Oct. 1 and the crowd booed and the band had to be escorted out by police.

Chancellor Cecil Staton initially said the university would protect the students’ free speech rights. Two days later he said no protests by the band would be tolerated.

The newspaper said most of the emails Staton received about the protest were negative.

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Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com