Chardon HS football players wave ‘thin blue line’ American flag and spark controversy; superintendent says school system is ’fundamentally anti-racist’
School official says students presented flag in show of support to first responders that dates back to 2012 school shooting
CHARDON, Ohio (WOIO) - A racist overture, or a genuine show of support to local police and first responders?
That debate was sparked on social media, after Chardon High School football players carried a “thin blue line” American flag onto the field Friday night.
The thin blue line suggests that police stand between order and chaos, but now the flag is used by some to stoke division between pro-police supporters and Black Lives Matter activists.
“Based on discussions that ensued over the weekend, 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 Feb. 27, 2012. Nevertheless, it is understandable how this could be interpreted as a racially-motivated action and, therefore, not acceptable in a school community, as a result, this display will not be a part of future pre-game activities at Chardon athletic contests,” said Superintendent Michael Hanlon in a prepared statement.
Hanlon also sent 19 News an e-mail clarifying the policy to ban the flag. He said:
On Feb. 27, 2012, Chardon High School student T.J. Lane shot five students, killing three.
Lane was sentenced to life in prison.
Read Hanlon’s full statement here.
This is a developing story, return to 19 News for updates.
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