Jarad Bentley and Brady Williams knew they would get in trouble.
But that didn’t matter to the teenagers from Morrow, Ohio. In their hearts they knew they were doing the right thing. And that’s all that mattered.
The boys had asked permission to carry flags honoring the police department and the fire department onto the field during the September 11th football game at Little Miami High School.
Jarad’s father is a firefighter. Brady’s dad is a police officer. They wanted to honor first responders on the 19th anniversary of the Muslim terrorist attacks.
But the school district refused to allow the boys to carry the flags. And they were told there would be repercussions if they defied their orders.
The boys considered the cost and on Friday night they ran onto the field with their teammates carrying a “Thin Blue Line” flag and a “Thin Red Line” flag.
On Monday they were suspended indefinitely from the football team.
“We can’t have students who decide to do something anyway after they’ve been told that they shouldn’t be doing it,” superintendent Gregory Power told television station WKRC.
Power told the television station that he saw the flags as symbols of a political point of view and didn’t want to set a precedent.
“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,” he said.
Kellie Williams wrote on Facebook about the brave and patriotic decision her son and his teammate made.
“Sometimes standing for something that’s right, means you may stand alone. I’m proud of the son we have raised. A son that knows right from wrong. He knows the importance of honoring the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice at a time when he wasn’t even born,” she wrote. “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”
So high school football players who take a knee and denigrate the police are celebrated and saluted, but young people who honor the flag are ridiculed and punished.
That’s not right, America. That’s just not right.