MANATEE- An email sent out by manatee county schools addressing the national anthem and pledge of allegiance has sparked a controversy.

Taking a knee during the national anthem started last year with Colin Kaepernick protesting racial injustice.

Now Manatee County is seeing high schooler’s protesting their local government after the director sent out an email to area high schools letting them know that students are required to stand unless they have a note from a parent if they are under the age of 18.

Civil Rights attorney Andrea Mogensen says, the state statue the school is using to enforce their code of conduct is not black and white.

In other words, the statue states, the student needs to have a note if they’re a minor but doesn’t say any adverse disciplinary action will happen if they don’t have a note and chose not to participate in the national anthem.

According to Mogensen, The first amendment is mainly directed at one entity, the government to keep then honest and allowing American people to object to government.

When it comes to private entities, they have more control on graying the first amendment but it’s all on a case to case basis.

Mogensen also points out, anyone in the United States no matter their status or age has first amendment rights.