PEARCY, Ark. (KFSM) — An Arkansas school district is drawing both support and criticism from state lawmakers after cheerleaders held a banner saying “Make America Great Again Trump The Leopards” during a high school football game.
The banner was held during Lake Hamilton High School’s football game on Friday (Sept. 13) against Malvern High School.
A photo showing the Lake Hamilton cheerleaders holding the banner has been shared across social media.
State Senator Joyce Elliott (D-Little Rock) said the banner was “totally inappropriate” for a public school in a tweet Friday night.
If this is a public school, this is totally inappropriate. If it’s a private school, it’s poor judgment. We are all entitled to our politics of choice but not to using public entities to advance our politics. pic.twitter.com/sOUrapPIkT
— Joyce Elliott (@xjelliott) September 15, 2019
State Representative Aaron Pilkington (R-Clarksville) responded to Elliott’s tweet by saying, “Chill out, it’s funny.” He went on to say, “It’s a play on words. God forbid kids use political slogans to make a joke about beating a team in football.”
Chill out, it’s funny. It’s a play on words. God forbid kids use political slogans to make a joke about beating a team in football 🙄 https://t.co/pATGyzuUN5
— Rep. Aaron Pilkington (@pilkingtonforar) September 15, 2019
The Lake Hamilton School District released the following statement about the incident:
“The Lake Hamilton School District believes that all school activities should be conducted in an environment where good sportsmanship and respect are shown. The banner displayed at the football game this past Friday was not intended to make a political statement or endorsement. The district has taken steps to ensure that all future banners do not mention or reference political or controversial issues.”