Covington Catholic chaperone 'very proud' of how students acted

Parents of Covington Catholic School students say their children did nothing wrong, but many who have viewed a viral video disagree. [SURVIVAL MEDIA AGENCY VIA THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]
By Gary Dinges gdinges@gatehousemedia.com
Posted: Jan. 21, 2019 2:41 pm Updated: Jan. 22, 2019 11:44 am

A chaperone says she is "very proud" of how a group of Kentucky Catholic school students acted in a video that went viral over the weekend.

The students from Covington Catholic School came under fire for allegedly disrespecting Nathan Phillips, a Native American elder and Vietnam veteran, during a trip to Washington, D.C.

The initial video, viewed more than 1 million times, appeared to show some of the Covington Catholic students invading Phillips' space and taunting him. Chants of "Build the wall" could be heard, Phillips and others said.

Some have questioned where the chaperones were when the incident occured.

But Covington Catholic supporters say a longer video that surfaced Sunday shows students from the all-boys school did nothing wrong.

"There was nothing the chaperones could have done differently," Val Andreev, a chaperone whose 14-year-old son was on the trip, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I’m very proud of the way the boys handled the situation."

The school took down its social media sites over the weekend after the story first went viral. In a statement to CNN Sunday night, Nick Sandmann, a student prominently featured in the video, said he had been threatened, along with his parents and the school itself.

"If you look at any videos, there was no confrontation," Andreev said. "There was nothing to control. There was not any aggression."

In a statement released Saturday, the Diocese of Covington said it was investigating the incident and, if wrongdoing occured, the students involved could face disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

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