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Parents stunned by banner used during high school football game, call it ‘disappointing’

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 11:16 AM CDT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV/Gray News) – A huge sign used during a high school football game is causing controversy in a North Carolina school district.

According to WBTV, cheerleaders at Butler High School held a banner that read, Sniff, Sniff. You smell that? $Privilege$ for the football team to run through before the start of the game.

The wording implied students who attend Charlotte Catholic High School, the opposing team, are privileged.

Parents were stunned that student cheerleaders held the banner, and some called it disappointing.

“The thing that was so disturbing was it was children,” said Melissa Swanson, a parent who attended the football game with her son. “Whether they are high school, elementary school or middle school -- they’re children. The administration, the coaches, the athletic director - they had to know it.”

Swanson thought the sign was mean-spirited and an inaccurate depiction.

She believes the sign portrays an idea that Charlotte Catholic is a “rich, white high school” that has it easy.

“That’s not the case by no means,” Swanson said. “I am a single mom, and I raise my son on my own. We pay for that school and work hard to be there.”

The Charlotte Mecklenburg School district issued a statement saying it is aware of the banner used during the football game between Butler High School and Charlotte Catholic High School.

“Squad members and adults responsible for oversight will face consequences as a result of that banner display,” the statement said. “School and district officials will offer no specific information about this disciplinary matter.”

Leaders from Butler High School offered verbal apologies to leaders at Charlotte Catholic. Likewise, the Buter High School cheerleaders sent an apology letter to their counterparts at the Catholic School.

“Soon there will be a meeting between the schools’ cheerleading squads to facilitate goodwill and understanding,” the statement said.

The Charlotte Catholic High School principal was forgiving of what happened and was appreciative of the outreach received from the Butler High School community.

“We understand how emotions surrounding sports events can sometimes result in actions that do not represent an organization’s values,” Principal Kurt Telford of Charlotte Catholic High School wrote in a statement. “It is our hope that everyone will learn from such moments because at the end of the day we are all one community.”

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