A high school cheer leading team in North Carolina was on probation Monday, Sept. 16, after taking a picture in front of a Trump 2020 re-election banner at a football game.
Members of the North Stanly High School squad posed in front of a Trump 2020: Make America Great Again banner at an Aug. 30 game on American Night. The photo circulated on Facebook, catching the attention of administrators.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association placed the cheerleading squad at North Stanly High School on probation for the rest of the season because district policy bans political ads at school events, Stanly County Schools announced Monday.
But the NCHSAA hasn’t “defined the terms of the probation” and the team is expected to continue cheering, the school district said in a release.
Probation—which can last up to one year—isn’t a form of punishment but is a notification that their behavior broke the rules and will be monitored for any further infractions, which would likely result in sanctions, such as fines or suspension, Commissioner Que Tucker told McClatchy news group.
The day after the football game, Stanly County Schools released the following statement:
“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. 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. 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.“