Student Protest at Contests

Below is a reprint of a letter from the CIF-LA Commissioner

Official Unit Representatives,

I apologize for the disruption of your Veteran’s Holiday.  I thank you for your service if you served this country, and your continued service to the CIF Los Angeles City Section.  Based on the recent activities of protest that we have witnessed this week, I would like to clarify the CIF Los Angeles City Section’s position of student lead protest and demonstrations at high school athletic events.  As an organization, the CIF Los Angeles City Section is respectful of the Constitutional Right provided each individual to express the freedom of speech and expression.  It is the Section’s position that respectful and appropriate demonstrations during the National Anthem (or any other time for that matter), will be viewed from a lens of tolerance and respect for the rights afforded by the Constitution and freedoms of this Country.  Having said this, it is the position of the Section that the environment that high school contests are played are governed by expectations of appropriate behaviors that do not disrespect or violate the safety and rights of others or the threaten to damage the property of others.  A protest that may threaten the safety and well-being of others, and that uses inappropriate language or gestures, shall be deemed to have crossed the line of “freedom of speech”, and shall be reported by the official to the Section Commission.  Should the demonstration become violent in nature and the safety of the participants or spectators become threatened, it would be appropriate to cancel the contest and allow the Section to determine if the contest should or can be rescheduled.  It is appropriate to acknowledge the protest or demonstration with the administrators for each school to allow them to consider appropriate actions when necessary.


The Section Staff will notify all schools that are continuing in the playoffs in all fall sports of this policy with the hope that the coaches and players are able to understand and discuss the expectations of safe, appropriate and respectful behaviors and protest.


Should you have any questions or require additional clarification for this policy, do not hesitate to contact me.  I can be reached at 818-415-8039.


On a personal note:

It is my hope that our community leaders, school administrators and teachers will jump ahead of this issue and take actions to address the concerns and ill feelings of our youth and encourage knowledge and true understanding, with challenges to our youth of becoming the change agents for making a long term difference in our social direction through their academic excellence and leadership opportunities.  Our future leaders must be willing to lead with respect for all.


Thank you for your understanding and support




John Aguirre, Commissioner


CIF Los Angeles City Section

10660 White Oak Ave., Suite 216| Granada Hills, California 91344

T: 818.767.0800 | F: 818.923.5156