Congressman ‘appalled’ after NC cheerleaders punished for holding Trump sign at game

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NASHVILLE, TN – MAY 29: A supporter listens as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium, May 29, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. Earlier in the day, President Trump held a fundraising event in support of Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who is running for a U.S. Senate seat against former […]

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Rep. Richard Hudson said he is appalled North Stanly County cheerleaders have been put on probation for holding a “Trump 2020” sign at a football game.

A photo posted to Facebook August 30 shows seven North Stanly High School cheerleaders with a Trump 2020 banner. Two males with “Make American Great Again” hats are standing with the cheerleaders.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association put the cheerleading squad on probation for the remainder of the year after the photo was posted.

“As the representative of Stanly County, I am appalled these students are being punished for exercising their First Amendment right to free speech,” Hudson said in a letter to NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker.

Hudson, a Republican representing North Carolina’s 8th District, said NCHSAA “should immediately reconsider this unfair punishment.”

The Stanly News and Press reported Stanly County Schools did not discipline the students as there were no violations of the student code of conduct.

In his letter, Hudson asks Tucker, “Why were they put on probation by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) and what specific NCHSAA rule(s) did they violate?”

The district said the photo was taken before the game against Piedmont had started.

“These North Stanly students respectfully displayed a sign and took a picture. They did not cause a scene, participate in a protest or break any school code of conduct,” Hudson said.

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