In Ohio, two students, Brady Williams and Jarad Bentley, who play on the Little Miami High School football team carried a thin blue line and thin red line flag onto the field after running out of the tunnel with their team. The Friday night game was on 9/11 and these boys wanted to support the men and women police officers and firefighters who lost their lives 19 years ago.
Brady Williams’ father is a police officer and Jared Bentley’s father is a firefighter. They ran with the flags to support their dad’s but mostly to honor those who died in the horrible terrorist attacks in 2001.
School officials say that the students did not receive permission for this and that is why they initially suspended them indefinitely, thinking it was a political display and wanted to investigate the incident. News of the suspension spread prompting outrage at the school and support for the boys from the community. After investigating they found it was not a politically motivated action and has since revoked the suspension and the boys are back on active status.
On Tuesday, Little Miami Local School Board of Education President Bobbie Grice said, “School administrators must act when students break the rules, and these students were suspended from practice while the incident was investigated.”
The Athletic Department Code of Conduct coaching staff is now taking over the issue. In an interview with the local news, Brady Williams’ father said that the boys had no intention of making a political display, only to honor the lives of those lost on 9/11. He went on to say, “The athletic director who called my son on the day of the game said, ‘I can’t tell you yes. I can’t tell you no. We can’t take a position either way on you carrying the flag.’ So he carried the flag.”
The boys were never given a definitive answer on whether or not it would be allowed, so they decided to do it anyway. Jarad 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.”