A North Carolina high school where a group of cheerleaders was placed on probation for displaying a pro-Trump banner abruptly canceled Friday’s game over unspecified “safety concerns,” ABC News reports.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, last week the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) handed down a punishment to a group of North Stanly High School cheerleaders for displaying a banner supporting Donald Trump before a game against rival West Stanly High School. Photos of the cheerleaders posing with the banner made their way to social media, and eventually caught the attention of North Carolina’s high school sports’ governing body.
The probation was merely ceremonial, in that it had no actual effect on the squad’s ability to attend school or continue the cheerleaders’ activities on the squad. Rather, it was more or less a warning that there would be more severe consequences if they violate the probation in the future.
Regardless, the punishment not only made national headlines, it also got the attention of a local politician. U.S. Representative Richard Hudson wrote a letter in support of the cheerleaders.
“At the end of the day, these students have a First Amendment right to free speech, and the NCHSAA should immediately reconsider this unfair punishment,” the statement read in part.
Similarly, the incident mobilized the townspeople to come out in force to support the cheerleaders. A rally was scheduled to take place before Friday’s game, and indeed, flag-wearing supporters showed up in droves to support the squad.
However, the game that was to take place on Friday was abruptly canceled. In a tweet, Stanly County Schools said that they were aware of information that could compromise the safety of the attendees of the game.
“SCS has been notified of additional information that could compromise safety measures in place for sporting events. Upon receiving information, the NSHS football game scheduled for 9/20/19 is canceled. Safety is our first concern.”
It remains unclear, as of this writing, what the specific safety concern was or is. Stanly County Sheriff Jeff Crisco said via Charlotte’s WBTV that he was made aware of the issue by the district’s superintendent but that he was not filled in on the details.
“[The superintendent] did not elaborate what that information was. But they took that information before the school board, and the school board is the ones that decided to cancel the game for this evening,” he said.
It remains unclear, as of this writing, if Friday’s game will be rescheduled.