Commentary

High School Football Player Carried 'Thin Blue Line' Flag Onto Field, Now School Has Banned It

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In a society that has banished God from public view, demonized historic principles and turned traditional mores and paradigms upside-down, it’s obvious that public schools have been failing children for many, many years.

Schools across the country no longer serve the needs of a child beyond superficial test scores and bland, shallow and sterile lessons about diversity and inclusion.

Their lessons about life now seem as though they were written for liberal corporate orientation seminars.

Long gone are the days when young men could be given a stern talking-to about right and wrong from a red-faced gym teacher, while girls would be taught to embrace the strong virtues of womanhood.

Blame multiculturalism, blame the leftist takeover of academia or fault the education system for teaching kids what to think as opposed to how to think critically.

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Issues with public education are rampant, and nowhere is that more apparent today than in the northern Ohio community of Chardon.

The local high school football team played Friday night, despite the coronavirus pandemic, and came away with a big win.

The Chardon Hilltoppers defeated the Eastlake North Rangers 42-7, according to The News-Herald.

But despite the lopsided victory, Chardon’s students all lost when their district’s leadership celebrated the blowout by banning its football players and fans from carrying flags in support of police officers.

As the Chardon players ran onto the field, one of them carried a “thin blue line” American flag, which was found to be problematic, according to WKYC-TV.

The flag has become a symbol for support of law enforcement officers, with the blue line signifying police are there preserving law and order and preventing society from plunging into anarchy — which is happening in some cities across America.

Chardon’s superintendent, Michael Hanlon, quickly announced the flag would be banned from future school events, and he even hinted that it might be racist.

“Given the turbulent times facing our country right now, this action understandably drew responses on social media and direct communications to district officials,” Hanlon told his district’s students and their parents in a letter.

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Reading the comments section online was probably Hanlon’s first mistake, but he continued to blather on about the flag.

“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 February 27, 2012,” he said.

The high school was the scene of a shooting in 2012 that left three students dead, according to WKYC.

Do you think high school football players should be allowed to carry a "thin blue line" flag onto the field?

Rather than display any semblance of moral fortitude, Hanlon banned shows of appreciation for police officers.

“Nevertheless, it is understandable how this could be interpreted as a racially-motivated action and, therefore, not acceptable in a school community,” he wrote.

“School district policy does not permit engagement in political activity,” Hanlon continued. “Nevertheless, it is important to emphasize that we clearly understand how this action could be perceived as political in nature. As a result, this display will not be a part of future pre-game activities at Chardon athletic contests.

Message From Chardon Superi… by WKYC.com

“In addition, measures will be put in place by our Athletic Director to review any planned pre-game displays for possible connections to any form of discrimination or particular political views.”

Imagine the fury if Hanlon had decided to write to inform families he had banned the phrase “Black Lives Matter” from football games.

To quote the superintendent, the country is facing “turbulent times.”

No group of people is more embattled during these times than police officers.

Publicly supporting officers at athletic events is not acceptable — at least not in Chardon, Ohio.

Sadly, the actions of Hanlon are not surprising.

Administrators and teachers failing their students is a nationwide epidemic, as it has been for decades.

In such a pivotal moment in our country’s history, students should be allowed — if not encouraged — to support those who protect their communities.

But it would be too sensible to sit back quietly and allow young people to express themselves by supporting a critical institution such as law enforcement.

Hanlon took the path of least resistance. Rather than serve his students, he perpetuated political correctness in his district in a demoralizing fashion, and not a single person is better off for it.

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Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has authored thousands of news articles throughout his career. He has also worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.




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