Brady Williams and Jared Bentley, two football players attending a high school in Morrow, Ohio, were reportedly suspended after they ignored the school’s directive not to fly flags honoring first responders during their game on the 19th anniversary of 9/11.
Local 12/WKRC-TV reported: “When the Little Miami High School football team took the field Friday, Sept. 11, a couple of players carried alongside the American flag a Thin Blue Line and Thin Red Line flags. The problem is, the boys had asked the school permission prior to the game and they were denied and told if they defied the order, there would be consequences.”
Williams’ father is a cop and Bentley’s father is a firefighter.
Bentley said: “I was all for it. Because my dad is a firefighter, and if it had been him killed on 9/11, I would have wanted someone to do it for him.”
“I don’t care what my consequences are,” Williams said. “As long as my message gets across, I’ll be happy.”
Superintendent Greg Power stated that the boys’ decision to fly the flags was an expression of a political point of view.
He said: “We can’t have students who decide to do something anyway after they’ve been told that they shouldn’t be doing it. We did not want to place ourselves in a circumstance where another family might want a different flag to come out of the tunnel, one that may be [one that] many other families may not agree with from a political perspective.”
When Williams was asked if the flags were a political statement, he stated: “No. Not at all. I was just doing it to honor the people that lost their lives 19 years ago.”
According to the Enquirer, a Facebook event titled “We stand with Brady and Jared” is scheduled for later this month and more than 1,000 people have stated that they will be going.
Little Miami High School sent a statement to FOX19:
“Little Miami Local Schools is saddened to see this story take such a negative turn. While we understand these students’ desire show their support of our first responders, they did not obtain permission from district officials. Administrators must act when students break the rules.
“The Patriot Night program to memorialize the victims of 9/11 was already part of our pre-game ceremonies on Friday and the American flag is the first thing through the tunnel every Friday night. Little Miami enjoys an outstanding relationship with local first police and fire agencies and a Little Miami school resource officer is also a high school football coach.
“Little Miami always has – and always will – support our first responders, our veterans, and all who sacrifice to maintain our freedoms.”
Sources: America Now