NC high school cheerleaders reprimanded over Trump 2020 banner
Screen capture … Credit: CGTN

A North Carolina high school cheerleading squad has taken a cheap shot from those in their community infected with Trump Derangement Syndrome. The squad was reprimanded and put on season-long probation after they posed with two students who brought a Trump 2020 banner to an “American Night” themed game when students were encouraged to wear red, white, and blue to celebrate.

The photo was taken before the August 30 football game, and made its way onto Facebook after being posted by a teacher. The image in question shows a group of seven female cheerleaders with two boys who brought the banner that said: “Trump 2020, Make America Great Again.”

Sadly and predictably since then, the North Stanly High School cheerleaders and their families have felt the backlash from merciless threats and bullying. The mother of one of the cheerleaders told Fox 46: “They’re labeling these cheerleaders terrible derogatory names, they’re calling them racists, they’re calling them bigots, these things that they are not.”

Watch the station’s report …

Video by Fox 46

Matthew Mangham and Carson Palmer are the two young men in the image.

“We took a picture of the Trump flag because he is our President and it had red, white, and blue on it,” Mangham told Fox 46.

“We figured it would be covered by our first amendment rights,” said Palmer. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

The Stanly County School system investigated the incident and found no ill intent, but warned the students that while they are free to express themselves in a respectful manner, politics are to stay out of school events.

“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,” a statement from the school district said. “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.”

The actual reprimand and probation came from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA), claiming that the incident violated their policies on schools promoting political campaigns since the girls were in uniform representing the school. The athletic association said the probation was not a punishment, but a “notice of behavior or action that is against NCHSAA Handbook Policy or contrary to expectations of sportsmanship and proper behavior.” They also warned that if it happened again, fines or suspensions could be implemented.

But Now a Counter-Backlash

The good news is that a rally in support of the cheerleaders is being planned at the next football game September 20. According to the Facebook event post that has been set up, almost 900 people have expressed interest in attending.

“The more the merrier. I’d love everybody to line the street so that everybody going to the game goes through the biggest Trump rally they’ve ever been to. That would be phenomenal,” organizer Jeremy Onitreb said in a video posted on the event page. He urged those attending to bring “all your Trump and MAGA gear.”

“But remember, we are here and we are doing this strictly to support those girls who feel like they’re wronged, who feel like they’ve done something inappropriate when they absolutely haven’t,” wrote Onitreb.

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Victor Rantala


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