A group of Catholic high school students from Kentucky is facing possible expulsion following an incident that occurred in Washington, D.C. on Friday.

The kids are all members of the Covington Catholic High School in Covington, Kentucky. They were in Washington for the March for Life. The Indigenous People’s March was also scheduled for the same day, and there were many Native Americans protesting Trump Administration policies on Indian affairs.

At some point, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the two groups crossed paths. Two very different versions of what happened have emerged but few have given much consideration to the version that does not paint the students in a bad light.

The national news media has used snippets of video that appear to show the students, some of whom like junior Nick Sandmann are wearing MAGA hats, mocking and harassing the Native Americans and has accused them of being racist and disrespectful.

This has prompted the school to issue a statement condemning the student's behavior with a threat to expel them. Members of Congress have tweeted their disgust and media pundits have denounced these young people as antagonists.

As Phillips and his followers get within feet of Sandmann and his classmates, it is clear the students are at first unsure of what is occurring. At that point, some join in and begin chanting with the Indians believing that was the Indians' intent, as indicated by their moving in on the students. Phillips then moves to within inches of Sandmann and begins pounding a drum in his face while chanting loudly. 
Sandmann responded by smiling, making eye contact with Phillips and showing him the utmost respect by silently listening to him, "because I wanted him to know I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation," Sandmann

As it turns out Sandmann says the Covington students also were confronted by four members of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement who "called us 'racists,' 'bigots,' 'white crackers,' 'f----ts,' and 'incest kids.' They also taunted an African-American student from my school by telling him that we would 'harvest his organs.'" None of that was reported.

The media breathlessly reported that the students were chanting hateful things at the Native Americans such as "build the wall." The videos and witness accounts prove otherwise.

Nathan Phillips it appears is notorious for this type of thing, having done it before. The national media was only too eager to jump on these kids without first looking into the whole story. Why?

1. They are Christians (Catholics).
2. They were attending the March For Life.
3. They wore MAGA hats.

I am sick over this rush to judgment and urge everyone to consider the entire story and not just a video snippet edited in a way that makes these students look bad. I also urge everyone to contact Covington Catholic in Kentucky to express your support for these young people.

In addition, it is time the national media be held accountable for the distortions and lies that are dividing this country and destroying the reputations of innocent people.

Any honest person who spends a moment reviewing the evidence will see that these kids were not behaving badly and were, in fact, the victims of an old man looking to draw attention to a political cause and a national news media with an agenda of its own. Nick Sandmann handled the situation in an amazing manner for someone his age. His parents should be proud of him. I am.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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