Chardon Local Schools superintendent Michael Hanlon, Jr. banned the flag in all school settings after a student football player carried a “thin blue line” flag on the football field Friday night before the start of a game. The move sparked controversy among the school community.
In a statement, Hanlon said the incident caused many people to directly complain to school officials, and therefore he made the decision to ban the flag in school settings.
In the statement, Hanlon said the football player who displayed the flag was doing it to show support for one of the team’s coaches, who is a police officer.
“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,” Hanlon said in the statement. “Nevertheless, it is understandable how this could be interpreted as a racially-motivated action and, therefore, not acceptable in a school community.”