Show of support expected for cheerleading squad on probation for ‘political message,’ ‘Trump 2020’ banner

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STANLY COUNTY, N.C. – There’s expected to be a big political showing at Friday night’s North Stanly High School football game, WSOC reports.

It comes after the North Carolina High School Athletic Association put the North Stanly High School cheerleading team on probation for taking part in a political message at a game.

Students and cheerleaders apparently posed for photos with a “Trump 2020: Make America Great Again” flag last month and the photo circulated on Facebook.

Hundreds on a Facebook support page for the cheerleaders have said they’ll come to Friday’s football game at the school to wave American flags.

The cheerleaders will be on probation for the rest of the season. District policy bans political ads at school events.

Stanly County Schools released the following statement on Facebook the day after the game:

“We are currently investigating this matter but as of this morning we have determined this was not an act planned or endorsed by the school or its staff. A student attending the event brought the flag into the game, which was not present when entering the gate. The picture was taken prior to the event starting. 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. Stanly County Schools’ investigation into this matter is ongoing and we will take appropriate action as necessary to ensure Board of Education policy is followed in the future.”

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