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Sign from Brooke's student section sparks controversy

A controversial sign hung by Brooke High School students at last week's football game is drawing attention to the district. A sign reading "Trump Perry" was raised in the student section as the Bruins hosted Perry Traditional Academy, a nearly all-black school in Pittsburgh.

A controversial sign hung by Brooke High School students at last week's football game is drawing attention to the district.

A sign reading "Trump Perry" was raised in the student section as the Bruins hosted Perry Traditional Academy, a nearly all-black school in Pittsburgh.

This happened as President Trump has denounced NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem, many of whom do so to protest the treatment of African-Americans.

Parents of students at Perry Academy told WPXI in Pittsburgh they couldn’t believe what they saw.

"Of course it was a low blow,” Normal McDonald, of Perry Hilltop, said. “These are black kids coming to play football and ya'll got a sign that signs ‘Trump Perry.’"

Brooke County Schools Superintendent Toni Paesano-Shute issued a statement that reads, in part:

"I apologize for the insensitive, intimidating, and offensive sign posted in our student section at Friday night's game. The sign's message does not reflect our true beliefs."

Shute also clarified that social media pictures of the banner were distributed and promoted through a fan account on Twitter, not a district account.

Meanwhile, Brooke County parents are upset the issue has been conflated with race. They say the sign used President Trump's name simply a pun to better their opponent.

One said she is embarrassed and upset, and said Shute’s letter was an unnecessary admission of guilt for something in which students did no wrong.

Several other parents said the fans have a different theme every week. Last week was red, white and blue, and the Trump pun fit with the theme, and nothing racially inflammatory was meant by the sign.

Shute issued another statement later, reading:

"When we offend or hurt someone, we apologize, even when we didn't mean to offend. What occurred at the game Friday night was a result of a lack of guidance from our administration. I do not believe in my heart that our children set out to make others feel intimidated, yet that's exactly what happened."


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