STANLY COUNTY, N.C. (CBS Local) — A North Carolina cheerleading team was placed on probation Monday after posing for a picture in front of a Trump 2020 re-election banner at a football game.
The North Stanly High School cheerleaders took the picture in front of a “Trump 2020: Make America Great Again” banner on Aug. 30 before a football game at the high school, northeast of Charlotte, apparently violating district policy of displaying political ads at school events.
The photo circulated on social media and caught the attention of administrators.
“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,” the district said in a statement.
The district says the cheerleaders will be on probation for the rest of the season.
“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,” the statement continued.
Some residents who were outraged by the reprimand created a Facebook event for people to attend this week’s game in support of the cheerleading squad.
“Please come out and help me show the school and the NCHSAA that freedom of speech is not dead,” the organizer wrote. “Please bring all your Trump and MAGA gear and lets throw our support behind the North Stanly High School cheerleaders.”