Chardon School Superintendent…his knees buckled under the pressure

[LFC Comments: Thanks to an engaged lobbyist for this article. Now supporting the police is viewed as a political statement in Chardon. Looks like the taxpayers will be footing the bill for some “expert” to get Superintendent “weak knees” Hanlon off the hook for making a decision.]


Is Superintendent Hanlon trying to silence students?

Letter posted by Superintendent Hanlon
August 31, 2020

Dear Community Members:
 As you may be aware, there was a decision by some of our student athletes to carry a blue line American Flag onto the football field on Friday night. Given the turbulent times facing our country right now, this action understandably drew responses on social media and direct communications to district officials.

Based on discussions that ensued over the weekend, it does not appear that this action was motivated by racism, rather a show of support for one of our coaches who serves as a police officer, as well as for the first responders in our community who have developed a special relationship with our school and students in the wake of our school tragedy of February 27, 2012.

Nevertheless, it is understandable how this could be interpreted as a racially-motivated action and, therefore, not acceptable in a school community.Our school district is fundamentally anti-racist as reflected in Board of Education policies ranging from Equal Employment Opportunity to matters of student and staff activities.

Our goal is to ensure that all students, staff and community members are provided the same opportunities to grow and learn in Chardon Schools and that this occurs in an environment that values the contributions of every school community member.

Our staff members work to support that goal in our classrooms and through lessons learned within the scope of extracurricular activities. Further, school district policy does not permit engagement in political activity. Nevertheless, it is important to emphasize that we clearly understand how this action could be perceived as political in nature. As a result, this display will not be a part of future pre-game activities at Chardon athletic contests.

In addition, measures will be put in place by our Athletic Director to review any planned pre-game displays for possible connections to any form of discrimination or particular political views.

The district is committed to an atmosphere that respects and values every individual within our school community and is in the process of engaging with an equity/organizational development consultant to review policies, practices and systems throughout the district.

[LFC Comments: This is a typical CYA approach for bureaucrats – tell me what to do so that I cannot get into trouble for using common sense. ]

The goal of this work will be to improve awareness and to develop specific strategies that will enable us to move forward effectively. As a school district we absolutely recognize the significant impact of this event and the discussion that occurred in our community in the following days. It will be important for us to use this as a learning opportunity and to grow stronger as a school district.

Sincerely, Michael P. Hanlon, Jr., Ph.D. Superintendent 

Phone 440 – 285 – 4052
Fax 440 – 285 – 7229

Here is an article from that deals with this subject:

Categories: Geauga County, Uncategorized


8 replies

  1. I know reading comprehension can be difficult…there’s no bucklage (I know, made up word). He actually just followed school policy, prohibiting any political message. Just like he’d prohibit BLM if they wanted to run their flag across the field prior to a game.


    • Students from another school wore BLM clothing at a game the previous season and nothing was said or done about it. You can’t allow free speech for one point of view and silence it for the other.


      • It’s not about paying students wearing BLM or Blue Lives Matter shirts to the game.

        It’s allowing athletes, whom are representing the school at a public event to use the field a venue for a political ideal.

        From a legal standpoint those are two very different things. By allowing the athletes to carry the Thin Blue Line flag, the district would legally be bound to allow an athlete who is gay to carry the PRIDE flag across the field…or an AA athlete to carry a BLM flag across the field.

        I hope I cleared up the distinction.


  2. I have to agree with Anonymous. The school is between a rock and a hard spot. In reality if they allow one faction then they open the field up to all factions.

    I think the WOIO story was fair to both sides.

    On we put up a history of the thin blue line tracing it back to 1922. It is a long read with a lot of links to other material originally published by the The Marshal Project . If anyone is interested here is a link,_FRAUGHT_HISTORY_OF_THE_%E2%80%98THIN_BLUE_LINE%E2%80%99_AMERICAN_FLAG_



  3. It’s not the defense of police that’s the issue. It’s the carrying of the Thin Blue Line Flag, which represents the Blue Lives Matter group. Blue Lives Matter is a political group, regardless of belief. It’s an organization with political motivations. Just like they couldn’t run across with a BLM or PRIDE flag…these too are political groups or movements.


  4. Dear Editor, The engagement of an “equity/organizational development consultant to review policies, practices and systems throughout the district” may result in something similar to this August 4, 2020, announcement from Governor DeWine to state employees. Statewide Competency and Implicit Bias Training is mandated. Here is the email from the governor.

    New Statewide Competency and Implicit Bias Training
    Governor Mike DeWine
    Tue 8/4/2020 3>41 PM
    Dear Colleagues,

    It is a matter of basic human decency that persons employed by—and served by—the State of
    Ohio be treated with respect and civility. As State employees, we must be committed to being
    the government for all people. To promote and support diversity and inclusion in State
    government, I am announcing two initiatives.

    First, beginning in August, Embracing Diversity and Inclusion will be included as part of the
    State’s Performance Management system. This new statewide competency is defined as
    displaying and developing understanding of individual differences and viewpoints, the impact of
    each on the workplace, and how we serve others.

    Second, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services is launching Inclusive Listening:
    Pushing through our Biases training for all State employees beginning August10th. This
    mandatory training will allow participants to explore the concepts of diversity and inclusion,
    particularly as it relates to implicit bias. Implicit bias is about the beliefs or stereotypes
    individuals may unconsciously hold or carry out in their daily interactions with others.

    Together, these new initiatives are part of our statewide strategy to create awareness, promote
    and value diversity, and recognize the benefits of inclusion. Ohio, and our Nation, are better
    when we embrace diversity and strive to be inclusive of all individuals. I thank you in advance
    for being active partners in these efforts and for all you do for our citizens each day.

    Very respectfully yours,
    Mike DeWine


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