School cancels football game days after cheerleaders are punished for pro-Trump banner

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A North Carolina school district nixed a Friday night high school football game because of security concerns, days after cheerleaders there were placed on probation for unveiling a pro-Trump banner.

Stanly County Schools said it canceled the North Stanly High game because it had received “additional information that could compromise safety measures our schools have in place for sporting events.”

The district did not specify the nature of that information.

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The decision comes after cheerleaders at North Stanly, in New London, N.C., posed for a photo of holding a banner that read “Trump 2020 Make America Great Again” before an Aug. 30 game.

The Stanly News & Press reported that it was “American Night” at the football game, and students were encouraged to wear red, white and blue.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association placed the cheerleaders on probation, prompting some in the community to complain that the students’ First Amendment rights were being abridged.

County Schools Superintendent Jeff James has said all North Carolina schools have a policy against displaying political signs.

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Several people had planned to hold a rally before Friday’s game to support the cheerleading squad.

“There was no threat,” Jeremy Onitreb, one of the rally organizers, told the McClatchy news group. “Nobody’s coming up there to hurt the kids. It’s not what this was about.”