Thin blue line: Chardon police team up with schools for safety plan on rally


*Watch our previous report about the controversy in the video above.*

CHARDON, Ohio (WJW) – Two opposing protests were planned in Chardon Friday night. But one of those has been cancelled following the death of a Cleveland police officer.

Both were fueled from a “thin blue line” American flag being carried onto the field by a student-athlete last Friday.

In response, Chardon Local Schools said the flag would not be allowed at future events.

“This could be interpreted as a racially-motivated action and, therefore, not acceptable in a school community,” Superintendent Michael Hanlon said in a statement.

The “thin blue line” is viewed by some as a way to honor and show respect for police officers.

By others, it is viewed as a racist symbol, although the superintendent says that was not the case in this event.

Due to the banning of the flag, groups on both sides had planned rallies.

The Chardon school district is making an area available on school grounds for a rally planned in support of police and other law enforcement officers.

The District designated a Free Speech Zone on the lawn in front of Chardon High School.

Chardon police say an additional rally was planned at Chardon Square in support of social justice.

That rally, organized by Black Lives Matter, was cancelled Friday following the death of Detective James Skernivitz.

In a statement on Facebook, Black Lives Matter said, “We are against gun violence against all people, and out of respect for the officer killed on Cleveland’s west side last night, we will be cancelling this evenings rally. We will continue to stand for Black lives and fight for social justice.”

“The safety and security of every member of our school community is our highest priority,” said Superintendent Hanlon.

“We appreciate the work of Chief Niehus and other law enforcement officials in developing an action plan for tonight’s event that prioritizes a safe evening for everyone.”

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