NEW LONDON, N.C. (WNCN/AP/CBS Newspath) – Officials in a North Carolina school district who canceled a high school football game after cheerleaders were punished for displaying a President Trump banner say a “potential threat” was later “deemed unsubstantiated.”
Stanly County Schools decided to cancel the North Stanly High School game Friday over what it called “additional information that could compromise safety measures” for sporting events.
School officials didn’t detail that threat to the public or the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office.
Supporters had urged fans to attend the Friday game to back the cheerleaders and protest the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s decision against the cheerleaders.
A protest across the street from the football field went forward with dozens of people attending.
In canceling the game, Stanly County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff James cited a “potential threat against the school,” later deemed “unsubstantiated.”
“We could not afford to have our students, staff or community be in harm’s way,” James said in a statement.
The school system also tweeted: ” Safety is our first concern.”
When asked about any threat, the county’s sheriff told reporters that James did not consult with him on the specifics.
“He did not elaborate what that information was,” Stanly County Sheriff Jeff Crisco said. “But they took that information before the school board, and the school board is the ones that decided to cancel the game.”
The Trump banner that spurred Friday’s events said “Trump 2020: Make America Great Again” and was displayed before the August 30 game at North Stanly, northeast of Charlotte.
James has said all North Carolina schools have a policy against displaying political signs. The cheerleading squad was placed on probation after the incident.
The planned Friday night football game was played starting at 11 a.m. Saturday with North Stanly defeating Jesse Carson of China Grove 34-14.
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