After a mass shooting on the campus of Saugus High School in 2019 in which five students were shot, two of them fatally, the school’s football team started a tradition of running onto the football field with the American flag and the “Thin Blue Line” flag, as a way of honoring the men and women who ran toward the gunfire that day. That tradition is now coming to an end, not because the football team chose to end it, but because administrators were pressured by some community members to end the practice because those community members view the “Thin Blue Line” flag as “divisive.”
The school is located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, and is home to a large number of LA Sheriff’s Department and LA Police Department officers and other first responders. LASD provides law enforcement services to the city, and those deputies were the first on the scene that day.
According to a September 28 letter from William S. Hart Union High School District Superintendent Mike Kuhlman, obtained by RedState, “just three short days ago [the district] became aware of a concern about this [‘Thin Blue Line’ flag] being flown at Saugus High School Football games.” That means that local liberals started throwing a fit.
“Despite emails for immediate action, and threats of consequences if certain steps weren’t taken within specific timelines, we determined to take our time to understand the issue accurately and to respond thoughtfully.”
At that point the Saugus High School principal started an investigation into how this practice started, confronting the coach in what sounds a lot like a struggle session.
Incredibly, even though team members and parents told the district and the press that the explicit reason for this practice was to honor the law enforcement officers who ran into the school that November morning, the Superintendent couldn’t even mention the word “shooting.” What a massive slap in the face to the three families whose children are no longer there to enjoy the Friday Night Lights. Instead, he simply referenced some vague memory of November 2019.
“It is important to support law enforcement. Those of us with first hand memories of November of 2019 will never forget their heroic response and can be nothing but thankful for their selfless acts of service.”
So, we’re supposed to “say their names” unless by remembering a terrible tragedy we’re also supporting law enforcement?
Many parents did not hold back, voicing their thoughts on the campus’ decision.
Parent Christine Ruiz said:
“For some people to say the flag is divisive, shows their ignorance because these are our heroes that come in while everybody runs away.”
Ruiz is correct. We must always support our police officers. There are “bad apples” in every single industry, but when lives are on the line, it’s the police who come running to save those at risk.
Brandy Roggentien has a daughter at Saugus High School; she said:
“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.”
Another parent, Priscilla Garcia, asked:
“I think people should keep an open mind because at the end of the day, when you call 9-1-1 who’s going to come and help you?”
Most parents were outraged that the Blue Lives Matter flag would no longer be allowed on campus. But of course, some parents and students agreed with the campus’ decision.
Student Daniel Alexander said:
“I think it should be away from the game because it’ll cause fights and stuff, and people will get mad about that; just enjoy the game you don’t have to worry about it.”
Santa Clarita resident and Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami told RedState:
My wife ran into Saugus High School that morning. She’s a mom, a police officer and a resident of SCV. So did so many of my friends and police officers who were also parents of students.
Being supportive of law enforcement does not mean you are not also supportive of inclusivity, kindness and respect. Allowing a small group of people to divide the community is disappointing.
In other words, cancel culture strikes again. Supporting and backing law enforcement should not “cause fights” or make people upset. Everybody should be able to voice their opinion and support what they want.
In nearly every city/state that defunded the police, we are now seeing the repercussions of it, and we’re also seeing some of those same leaders who defunded the police, like Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, increasing the police budget by $149 million, after seeing the consequences of defunding.
D’Ante Von Wright gave his input about what was offensive about the flag:
“The American flag has colors for a reason. Red, white and blue, so when you add a blue line to one of the white stripes, it obviously changes the meaning of that flag. It’s no longer the Stars and Stripes, it’s whatever they want it to be so it’s a false flag. Flying it during a school event or any event is disrespectful to the country and the servicemen and women that came before.”
But he did not mention that Saugus flew both flags — the American flag and the Blue Lives Matter flag.
“These seniors were freshman when the Saugus school shooting happened..for these student athletes it is to honor the police officers..who ran in..to protect them”
Is the Thin Blue Line flag divisive?
— MarlaTellez (@MarlaTellez) September 29, 2022
Parents are planning a protest on October 7 at 5:30 p.m. at Saugus High School. It remains to be seen whether the high school will listen to the parents, but the school is not making the right decision, especially after law enforcement saved students from being killed by a school shooter.
They should be honored; they are heroes and should be treated as such.