High School Cheerleaders' 'Stand For The Flag' Shirt Deemed 'Racist,' Shut Down

A fundraiser for the Dodge County High School cheerleaders quickly turned political and was shut down.

Dodge County, GA A high school cheerleading teams t-shirt fundraiser has become a topic of heated debate, after critics deemed the attire politically divisive and racist.

In Dodge County, we stand for the flag, kneel for the cross. Thats Indian Pride, the shirt read, along with images of an American flag and a cross.

Heart of Georgia Signs and Tees designer Lisa Hartley said she has been designing the Dodge County High School cheerleaders fundraising shirts for several years, and that she generally presents the squads sponsors with three different designs to choose from each season, The Dodge County News reported.

They pick what they want and approve it, and we make them, said Hartley, who personally designed the shirt chosen this year.

It was not meant to offend anyone or be racial. There was no hidden agenda in it, she said. For years, our football players have stood when the National Anthem is played, and they pray before the game. When a player gets hurt, they kneel. I considered that to mean that our Dodge County parents have raised their children right, and felt like it was respectful.

The cheerleaders began selling the shirts on Aug. 10, but quickly ran into opposition after critics began posting photos and comments about the shirts on social media.

The shirt sends a message of exclusion, not inclusion, and someone should have been able to recognize that, former Dodge County student and current high school teacher Taelor Rye told The Dodge County News.

People should keep in mind that purpose of the political protest that the shirt references [kneeling during the National Anthem] is to shed light on the injustices of police brutality, particularly toward Black people and other people of color not to disrespect soldiers or veterans, Rye added.

He then scolded those who did not agree with his perspective.

I hope that everyone who does not see the problems with the design and distribution of the shirt can recognize that other perspectives exist and that they are valid, Rye said. We should all work to be more empathetic, more compassionate, and more accepting.

In a since-deleted Facebook post, Dodge County School Board member Shirley Ikedionwu referred to the shirts as exclusionary and offensive, FOX News reported.

This shirt is not only one-sided but offensive, Ikedionwu railed. I cant imagine how our children would feel entering a place that is supposed to be welcoming and accepting of students from all walks of life, beliefs, and perspectives but instead, they are faced with this type of exclusionary message.

Resident Deneen McCloud agreed, but took her argument even a step further.

"It stands for the hurt of black people getting killed, beat by police officers, and getting off with it. So therefore, we as black people, some of us have taken that, to us, that's what it looks like," McLeod told WMAZ.

According to FOX News, Ikedionwu said that she voiced her concerns about the t-shirts to school administrators, and that she successfully got the fundraiser shut down.

At this point, the shirt will no longer be sold, the school board member declared.

But some community members had a different idea and simply began selling the shirt off-campus.

People have been purchasing the shirts directly from Hartleys shop, and surrounding counties have also contacted her wanting the shirt design for their schools, The Dodge County News reported.

White Hat Auto manager Nikki Mullis, whose business began selling the shirts to help the team, said that people from all over the world have contacted her to help out with the fundraiser.

On Thursday, she shipped three shirts to Afghanistan, she said.

Im standing because it has the United States flag on it and the cross. Those are two things I will back any day of the week, Mullis told FOX News. This aint just Georgia anymore. We are a community that when something happens, we are all together.

Get Your Warrior 12 Stand For The Flag Shirt HERE.

Resident Bill Tripp said he saw nothing wrong with the shirt, and that it simply represented the culture of the area.

The South is known for being the Bible Belt, Tripp said, according to FOX News. If you cant stand for the flag and you cant stand for the cross I dont know what you can stand for.

School Superintendent Michael Ward said that the t-shirts do not violate the schools dress code, and that they will not prohibit students from wearing them, WMAZ reported.

"There's no violation of anything right now. As long as it's not vulgar or obscene, they're within the dress code policy," Ward said.

Comments
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Blue_lives_Matter
Blue_lives_Matter

@Nighthawk644 if you really wish to order these t-shirts there is a link in the article where you can order one or several. I know I just ordered mine. Again it's more liberal BS because the students believe in our country and our God whereas liberals don't believe in either!! Show the live towards believe in free speech as long as you're free speech agrees with their free speech. God help you if it doesn't because then you are classified as a racist and you hate America because you believe in God and respect our flag as well as praising our president. 8 years of Obama started this mess when he's vilified police officers and put targets or bull's-eyes on each and every one of our Leo's. I applaud these cheerleaders for the love of country and faith in God. Those school board members and teachers that disagree and claim that it is racist definitely need to be fired and voted out of office

Ligoon01
Ligoon01

Kneeling during the National Anthem is about the most racist thing there is today. Those who choose to stand for the Anthem are racist??? I think someone might have been dropped on their head a few too many times. What a big fat load of crap!!!!I would LOVE to have one of those shirts, and Yes I stand for the National Anthem and I keel to pray.

Fire_and_Steel
Fire_and_Steel

Something tells me school board member Shirley Ikedionwu will be getting fewer votes in the next election, if she runs. Wondering if she'll see a defeat at the polls as "racist," too.

Katarina
Katarina

Here are the email addresses for the School Board member that filed the complaint that got the fundraiser shut down. sikedionwu@dodge.k12.ga.us and Dodge County School Board: www.dodge.k12.ga.us

Katarina
Katarina

I believe the kneeling started in August of 2016 before the election to protest the myth of police brutality. Haven't paid much attention since. If they want to protest a myth, I can protest, too. Haven't paid attention to NFL since.

If you commit a crime and LE arrests you, you WILL be taken into custody. The amount of force necessary to accomplish that is decided by the person being arrested, not the police. Thousands of people are arrested every day without brutality--because they didn't fight and cause it to become physical.

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