The headmaster said the flag was being disrespected because teens had previously used it to taunt Latino students at a rival school.
“In the past, there have been a selected number of [Travelers Rest] students who either wore sombreros or wore ponchos to games and that was discouraged because it was seen as derogatory to Hispanic students,” Beth Brotherton, assistant communications director for the school district, told BuzzFeed News.
“There have been instances, not just at Travelers Rest but at a different school, where the flag has been used to insinuate racist things,” she continued. “Students have shouted Olé! or things like that.”
At Friday’s game, students were encouraged to only wear school colors as a show of pride, but when some began waving the Stars and Stripes in the stands, Lavely directed an assistant principal to ask them to stop, Brotherton said.
“Very quickly murmurs started in the crowd and people started texting,” she said, “and that’s when people started showing up at the front gate with large flags on poles and trying to make a different kind of statement.”
Hunter Ballew, a 25-year-old graduate from Travelers Rest High, told BuzzFeed News he arrived at the game to pick up his younger brother when he heard about the flag ban. When he tried to get in, he was blocked by police.
Hunter Ballew / Via facebook.com
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