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High School Football Team Made to Stop Pre-Game Flag Tradition; Mom of Player Reveals Shocking Way Players Were Told

In 2019, police officers risked their lives trying to stop a school shooter at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California. In 2022, the school is refusing to let the football team show support for law enforcement because the coach believes we should “just love people.” There’s a sign of the times if there ever was one. According to KTLA-TV, the Saugus High School Centurions will no longer be carrying a “thin blue line” flag when they take to the field, with the school district superintendent saying it “has sometimes been co-opted by intolerant individuals with an agenda to divide and exclude.” The flag was one of several usually carried onto the field by the team, as photos show: [firefly_embed] [/firefly_embed] Lexi Hawk told KHTS-FM her son, Wyatt, now an 11th-grader at the school, had been bringing the flag onto the field since his youth football days and carried it for several games this season. Several of her family members have served with the Los Angeles Police Department and she said they had a personal connection with the officers who responded to the Saugus shooting. Two students were killed Nov. 14, 2019, when a boy who had just turned 16 brought a handgun to campus and attacked, according to a USA Today report. Three other students were wounded. The teenaged killer shot himself. “We know personally three or four officers who ran onto Saugus campus [in 2019], so it’s near and dear to our hearts,” Hawk told the station. But last month, William S. Hart Union High School District Superintendent Mike Kuhlman wrote in a memo that the tradition of carrying the “thin blue line” flag had to stop. “While many embrace the symbol as simply a celebration of law enforcement, others have shared their feeling that the symbol has sometimes been co-opted by intolerant individuals with an agenda to divide and exclude,” Kuhlman wrote. “I’ve personally spoken with some individuals who shared their feeling that the symbol makes them feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.” The school’s principal, Genevieve Peterson Henry, and football coach, Jason Bornn, discussed the situation. Apparently, Bornn’s motto is “just love people,” which led him to discontinue the practice of bringing the flag onto the field without consulting the team. “Given that some individuals have expressed concern that they interpret the Thin Blue Line flag to be divisive, it occurred to [the coach] that it’s possible that some players on the team might not be entirely enthusiastic about a symbol that is being used to represent the entire team,” Kuhlman wrote. “In deference to his commitment to inclusivity, kindness and respect just loving people, and because the team never voted as a unit to carry this banner, Coach decided to discontinue this practice.” Hawk revealed a major detail: Before Kuhlman announced the decision, nobody from the school talked to the football players themselves. So, the boys found out about it after the fact. She told KHTS there should been a discussion with the team before the decision was made, adding the development progressed from social media complaints to an official edict without any input from the Centurions players themselves. “There was not even an offer to open discussion. You’re not going to agree with everyone or agree with everyone’s beliefs, that’s just now how it works, but there should have been an opportunity to open an adult conversation,” she told the station. “Saying that we’re disrespecting other people is ridiculous … Nobody discussed it. It was not a roundtable discussion, therefore without a discussion, there is no democracy,” she added in remarks to KTLA. Hawk added she would be wearing “thin blue line” clothing at Friday night’s game along with other Saugus fans, both in support of law enforcement and the team members who wanted to keep carrying the flag. “I want everyone to keep the subject of focus on the boys,” Hawk said. “We can respect law enforcement and honor them, but the priority is the boys, and them having the best game and the best experience possible.” Indeed, KTLA reported that “plenty of fans could be spotted with ‘thin blue line’ flags and clothing in the stands.” “It’s not about backing something and saying everything else is bad,” Saugus fan Ron Marome told the station. “It’s just about saying ‘hey, we support the blue line.’ That’s it. It was that simple. It turned into something it shouldn’t have turned into.” The district’s congressman, GOP Rep. Mike Garcia, also expressed his outrage. “My stepdad served as an LAPD officer, and I’m a proud Saugus graduate. So many Saugus students come from law enforcement families,” he wrote in a Twitter post. “It is shameful to politicize their support of our local heroes. I stand with the players who take pride in law enforcement.” Unfortunately, civilized voices like this were outweighed, in the district’s mind, by social media trolls like this fellow, who called law enforcement “fascism”: Educational institutions are so afraid of offending the social media mob they’ll kowtow at the slightest breeze of performative, woke “outrage.” As for the students who want to carry the flag? They should “just love people,” including people who call their relatives and family friends in law enforcement “fascists.” No, this shameful capitulation is anything but love. It’s cowardice with a patina of inclusivity hastily painted on top of it. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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