A California parent spoke out Monday after a high school football team was banned from carrying the Thin Blue Line flag onto the field, after critics alleged the symbol was divisive.
Saugus High School mother Lexi Hawk joined “Fox & Friends First” to discuss the controversy and how the community has responded to the school’s decision.
“He thinks it’s ridiculous personally, but he is respectful of the school’s decision at this time,” Hawk told co-host Todd Piro regarding her son’s thoughts on the matter. “He likes to play football. He doesn’t want anybody being offended… he would have never thought anybody would have been offended.”
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SANTA CLARITA, Nov. 14, 2019 — Photo taken on Nov. 14, 2019 shows Saugus High School where a shooting took place in Santa Clarita, Southern California, the United States. At least two students were killed and three injured following a shooting Thursday morning at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, local authorities said.
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“It was never an issue on the football team before somebody made it an issue on social media, so for him, he thought he was doing the right thing and being respectful and appreciating the law enforcement community as a whole,” she continued. “And somebody took it way too far.”
Hawk said the decision was made unilaterally by the school district after critics outside the community raised concerns. The decision comes just three years after officers rescued students during a shooting that left two students dead and three others injured.
A thin blue line flag, signaling support for law enforcement, is displayed above the sign for the National Rifle Association (NRA) outside of its headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 31, 2022.
(STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
“There was no discussion with the parents of the students on the football team,” she said.
William S. Hart Union High School District Superintendent Mike Kuhlman sent a letter after the decision was made, explaining that the symbol intended to honor law enforcement can be seen as “uncomfortable and unwelcome” to some.
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“Given that some individuals have expressed concern that they interpret the Thin Blue Line flag to be divisive, it occurred to (the coach) 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 said.
“In deference to his commitment to inclusivity, kindness and respect (just loving people), and because the team never voted as a unit to carry this banner, Coach decided to discontinue this practice,” he continued.
SANTA CLARITA, Nov. 14, 2019 — Sheriffs work at Saugus High School where a shooting took place in Santa Clarita, Southern California, the United States, on Nov. 14, 2019. At least two students were killed and three injured following a shooting Thursday morning at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, local authorities said.
(Xinhua/Li Ying via Getty Images)
Centurions head coach Jason Bornn stopped flying the pro-police flag after discussing the matter with the school’s principal.
But despite the flag not making an appearance on the field, the pro-police sentiment was felt in the stands on Friday night.
“At the game on Friday it was an overwhelming majority in the stands with their blue line flags or T-shirts or support of our law enforcement,” Hawk said. “My son’s grandparents, my parents are retired LAPD, therefore, we are very supportive of our local law enforcement.”