A school district in Ohio is banning “thin blue line” flags. This happened following an incident where a high school football player carried one onto the field, honoring local first responders.
Chardon Local Schools Superintendent Michael P. Hanlon Jr. wrote in a statement that the display “will not be a part of future pre-game activities at Chardon athletic contests. In addition, measures will be put in place by our athletic director to review any planned pre-game displays for possible connections to any form of discrimination or particular political views.”
The “Thin Blue Line” American flag “represents law enforcement,” according to Thin Blue Line USA. It “is flown to show support for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect us. This symbol is hailed as the proud sign for promoting compassion and support for our nation’s police officers.”
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Ohio school district bans ‘thin blue line’ flags after football player carried one to honor coach (who charged a school shooter, saving kids lives!) –because supporting cops "could be interpreted as racially motivated". Sure. If you are an insane leftist. https://t.co/VJkzK93fAC
— Vicki McKenna (@VickiMcKenna) September 2, 2020
Following last Friday’s game, members of the community started a debate. It centered on whether the display was harmless or not. They debated whether it was just a move to support local first responders or if it had “racial connotations,” Fox News reported.
Running out onto the field with the flag “could be interpreted as a racially motivated action,” Hanlon said. He added that district policy “does not permit engagement in political activity.”
Fox News reported that Hanlon also acknowledged the schools’ close ties with first responders. This came about after a shooting that happened eight years ago at Chardon High School.
“It does not appear that this action was motivated by racism, rather a show of support for one of our coaches who serves as a police officer, as well as for the first responders in our community who have developed a special relationship with our school and students in the wake of our school tragedy of February 27, 2012,” Hanlon wrote.
Geauga County Commissioner Ralph Spidalieri demanded Hanlon’s resignation following the district’s move to ban the flag.
“Your letter sickens me and so many others that have reached out to me and expressed the same disgust with your inability to stand up and recognize their patriotism,” Spidalieri wrote.