The superintendent of Brooke County School District in West Virginia has apologized for a Trump banner that was displayed at a recent high school football game.
Brooke High School in West Virginia has come under fire after a banner with President Trump’s name was displayed during a recent football game. Their opponent, Pittsburgh Perry High School, a predominantly black school, claims that the sign was intended to intimidate and offend.
— Sheila May-Stein (@smaystein) September 23, 2017
“My mostly Black, inner-city school played this team last night & were confronted w/this. Sickening racism,” Perry High School librarian Sheila May-Stein tweeted over the weekend.
Despite the concerns from the Perry High School community, Brooke High School explained that the student section had planned in advance to display patriotic colors and messages for that week’s game.
REMINDER : tonight's game is red white and blue!! ❤️🏈💙
— Student section 2018 (@BBSSFootball18) September 22, 2017
In a letter, Brooke County School’s Superintendent, Toni Schute, apologized for the decision to display Trump’s name. “On behalf of the Brooke County School System, I apologize for the insensitive, intimidating, and offensive Sign posted in our student section at Friday night’s game,” she wrote. “The sign’s message does not reflect our true beliefs nor what we want to teach our children.”
Pittsburgh Perry High School parent Jessie Ramey penned a later to Schute, lambasting her for allowing her students to use Trump’s name to supposedly intimidate and offend minority students.
“The use of the current President’s name is an intentional signal to opponents that they are in ‘Trump’ territory — and that has real meaning, especially for our Black children in this moment,” she wrote. “… I am appalled that the adults in your school district not only approved of this sign, but are actively celebrating it, making it the featured photograph on the official school team Twitter page. This is what racism in America looks like today.”
Despite the controversy over the banner, the game occurred without incident. Brooke High School defeated Perry High School, 34-20.