A warning to all Missouri schools: Don’t play the Kansas fight song

Jeff Eisenberg

The demise of the Border War for the foreseeable future certainly hasn't diminished the hostility between Kansas and Missouri fans.

A Missouri school in the Kansas City suburbs found that out the hard way last week when it played Kansas' fight song during morning announcements the day of the national title game between the Jayhawks and Kentucky.

According to the Kansas City Star, several parents were furious Trailridge Elementary School played the fight song of Missouri's most bitter rival even though the Kansas City area traditionally is split between Tigers and Jayhawks fans. The parents have since gone so far as to send emails to the school and take their fight to the board of education.

"As a parent of two and a taxpaying resident of the Lee's Summit R-7 School District, I am shocked and disappointed that there was an apparent attempt to indoctrinate Lee's Summit school children to be KU fans at Trailridge Elementary this week," said Brian Yates, a former state representative and graduate of the University of Missouri. "Playing the KU fight song or any college fight song over the intercom in a publicly funded elementary school is unacceptable."

A.J. Quigley, another Missouri taxpayer, sent Trailridge Principal Matt Miller an April 2 email decrying the "awful decision to play the fight song today at school."

"I suggest you move to Kansas and get support from those taxpayers," Quigley wrote as news of the controversy began spreading on MU fan websites.

The fact that parents are this livid not over politics or religion being taught in public schools but over a fight song is equal parts hilarious and sad. Annual rivalry pranks and spirited competition are two of the best parts of college athletics, but these parents are setting a poor example for their kids when they take their hatred to this extreme. 

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Perhaps some of the frustration among the Missouri fans stems from their team's NCAA tournament flop. Kansas won the Big 12 regular-season title, Missouri won the conference tournament and both teams split a pair of classic games, but in March the Tigers lost in the opening round to 15th-seeded Norfolk State while the Jayhawks fell one win shy of Bill Self's second national title.

Regardless, that doesn't excuse the parents' overreaction. Let's save the outrage for the stuff that matters, please. Like if a another religious campaign tries to get school districts to ban the use of the word "evolution" in classrooms again.

(Thanks, College Basketball Nation)

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