UPDATED: Banner at Hillsboro-McClain game draws state, national attention


UPDATED WITH STATEMENT FROM McCLAIN PRINCIPAL.

Various state and national news outlets reported Saturday on a controversy involving a banner that was displayed at Friday night’s football game between the Hillsboro Indians and Greenfield McClain Tigers.

The Associated Press filed the following story Saturday. Read more later at timesgazette.com and in Tuesday’s print edition of The Times-Gazette.

The Associated Press

Some southwest Ohio parents say they want to know how a banner referring to the devastating “Trail of Tears” of Native Americans showed up at a high school football game.

WHIO-TV in Dayton and WCMH-TV in Columbus report that some Greenfield-McClain High School cheerleaders held up the banner for the Tigers’ Friday night game in Hillsboro against the Hillsboro High Indians. It read: “Hey Indians, Get Ready for a Trail of Tears Part 2.”

Thousands died during the forced 19th century migration to lands west of the Mississippi.

The news stations reported the school posted an apology on Facebook, but subsequently deleted it. WHIO reports that was after parents began posting questions and comments.

A message was left Saturday for the Greenfield district’s superintendent.

Hillsboro won the game 43-40.

UPDATE: On Saturday afternoon, McClain High School principal Jason Potts issued the following statement.

“At the final varsity football game of the year, a horrific mistake was made. A sign was created out of ignorance, not hate. There are no words to express our deepest sympathy to those of Native American and African American descent. We also owe a sincere apology to the communities, families and students of Hillsboro, Greenfield, and beyond. We are currently completing an internal investigation of how this deplorable situation arose. We will take appropriate steps once we have all of the necessary information. By partnering with local organizations, McClain High School will immediately use this moment to further educate our students on the atrocities faced by both the Native American and African American cultures.”

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