Cheerleaders from a North Carolina high school who posed with a Trump 2020 banner before a football game have been put on probation for the rest of the season by school administrators.
A Facebook post showing the teenagers holding the campaign sign while in school uniform went viral and was brought to the attention of the North Stanly High School administration.
According to a statement by the school, they respect the students’ right to free speech, but said since they were in school uniform, they were representing Stanly County Schools, therefore violated conduct code.
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.
Richard Hudson, the congressional representative for the school’s district said he was appalled by the decision.
@nchsaa a letter questioning the recent probation of North Stanly High School cheerleaders. I’m appalled these students are being punished for exercising their First Amendment right to free speech. The NCHSAA should immediately reconsider this unfair punishment,” he tweeted.
Just sent @nchsaa a letter questioning the recent probation of North Stanly High School cheerleaders. I'm appalled these students are being punished for exercising their First Amendment right to free speech. The NCHSAA should immediately reconsider this unfair punishment. pic.twitter.com/UUQIjiaKBM
— Richard Hudson (@RepRichHudson) September 17, 2019
A rally has been planned to support the students and according to the event Facebook page, nearly 200 are going with an additional 1,000 interested.
The North Stanly High School cheerleaders have been wrongly put on probation by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association for the rest of the football season because of holding up a Trump banner before a home game on 8-30-2019. Please come out and help me show the school and the NCHSAA that freedom of speech is not dead. Please bring all your Trump and MAGA gear and lets throw our support behind the North Stanly High School cheerleaders.