California High School Bans 'Thin Blue Line' Flag From Football Games

October 3rd, 2022 9:29 AM

The football team at Saugus High School (SHS) in Santa Clarita, CA, has a pregame tradition of running onto the field before games carrying a “Thin Blue Line” flag in support of local police. But thanks to a handful of people with low emotional maturity, that tradition has been discontinued.

William S. Hart Union High School District Superintendent Mike Kuhlman said that he became “aware of a concern” about the flag and that it was considered divisive by some. SHS principal Geni Peterson Henry held a discussion with coach Jason Bornn about ending the tradition shortly thereafter.

According to Kuhlman, “in deference to his commitment to inclusivity, kindness and respect …,” Bornn decided that he would stop the tradition altogether.

“(It) occurred to (Bornn) that it’s possible that some players on the team might not be entirely enthusiastic about a symbol that is being used to represent the entire team,” Kuhlman wrote in his letter explaining the dumb rationale behind his decision. 

“Please note that this decision does not translate into a change in support for law enforcement,” he added. “The degree of enthusiasm behind our District’s backing of law enforcement is not measured by the acceptance or rejection of any one particular symbol.”

I find that hard to believe. 

The students that claim the flag “doesn’t represent them” should really put that immature complaint to the side. The only message the flag communicates is support for law enforcement, even though some frame it as offensive because some extremist groups adopted it as a symbol (which is a far-reaching and lame excuse to find it offensive). Choosing to remove this gesture from football games is both counterproductive and logically shaky. 

Even though Kuhlman is trying to frame this as some justified appeal to please a small amount of people that apparently get upset too easily, it is rightfully being characterized as distasteful by others.

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In 2019, SHS was rocked when two students were killed in a school shooting. Barry Roggentein, an SHS parent, said that he recalled an off-duty police officer rushing to the aid of those inside instead of running away from trouble.

“One of the first responders was a parent who dropped off a kid (at the time) and he literally saved some lives. The fact that the school is not honoring that is mind-blowing and disgusting,” Roggenstein said.

Not to be outdone by a childish ban, parents of the football players are advertising for an event on Facebook where anyone interested will bring a “Thin Blue Line” with them to Friday night’s game against Hart High School.