Trump flag draws questions at football game

Published 7:45 pm Saturday, August 31, 2019

North Stanly High School scored no points on the football field Friday night, but it was an incident on the sidelines that left the school system scrambling for its political policy playbook.

Friday night’s game against Piedmont was promoted as having a theme of “American Night.” Students were encouraged on social media to “wear your patriotic red, white and blue to support the Comets!”

The incident drawing questions from parents and community members happened before the game began, when some of the North Stanly cheerleaders and a couple other individuals gathered for a photo. A cheerleader and a young male held up a banner that read “Trump 2020 ‘Make America Great Again.’ ” The photo circulated on Facebook after a North Stanly High School teacher posted it. The name on the teacher’s account has been changed since the post appeared Friday night. The Stanly News & Press has elected to not publish the photo on any of our platforms due to a lack of context with the students involved.

Stanly County Schools released a statement on Facebook Saturday afternoon about the incident.

“We are currently investigating this matter but as of this morning we have determined this was not an act planned or endorsed by the school or its staff,” the statement reads. “A student attending the event brought the flag into the game, which was not present when entering the gate. The picture was taken prior to the event starting.”

In addition, “Stanly County Schools respects the rights of its students, staff and visitors to express their opinions in a respectful manner on their  own time, however, Stanly County Board of Education policy prohibits the display or distribution of political advertisements on campus or at school events. Further, Stanly County Schools never makes political campaign endorsements. These policies ensure that all students, staff and visitors are able to attend school events in an environment that promotes students and not a particular political viewpoint. Stanly County Schools’ investigation into this matter is ongoing and we will take appropriate action as necessary to ensure Board of Education policy is followed in the future.”

A similar Facebook post appears on the North Stanly High School page.