"My agenda was to take a song that I was familiar with, that conveys a message that I understand, that goes along with the notion that everyone is somebody at Capital High School," Giles said.
Current school policy requires students to stand during the morning observances. Standing is not considered participating, Giles said. In the past students were allowed to sit during that time in the morning.
However, he said students who chose not to participate were disruptive: they would do homework, talk and sometimes even fight, Giles said.
No one has been punished for not participating, and school policy states students do not have to participate, Giles said. He's not sure where that idea came from.
"That's another one of those big-ass Clinton H. Giles lies," he said.
He said anyone would be hard pressed to find someone as patriotic as him. Drafted in 1970, Giles served 20 months and one day in the Army. He was a military policeman at the Fort Hood military prison. His father and three of his brothers served in the military.
He said he is not trying to suggest there is more than one national anthem or force his beliefs onto anyone else. He thinks schools in Kanawha County that do not recite the pledge every morning are the real problem.
He pointed to a portion of West Virginia code that states every instructional day in public schools "shall be commenced" with the pledge. Giles bets fewer than 50 percent of the high schools in the county still recite the pledge.
On Tuesday the school asked students to stand for the pledge and the national anthem, Giles said. They were also asked to remain standing for the song "America the Beautiful," he said.
He doesn't think he'll play "Lift Every Voice and Sing" this Friday. He loves the song but doesn't want people to say he's trying to promote something he's not by doing so.
He's going to find a different song.