High school cheerleaders carry banner accusing their opponents of being ‘privileged’

Butler High School cheerleaders held a sign as their football players ran onto the field at the beginning of Friday’s game, taunting their opponents for being wealthy and privileged.

“Sniff, Sniff. You smell that? $Privilege$,” the sign read.

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Charlotte Catholic High School parents were reportedly outraged at the characterization of their North Carolina school.

Melissa Swanson, a fan present at the game, is a single mom with a biracial son. She disagreed with the implication that Charlotte Catholic is a “rich, White high school.” 

“That’s not the case by no means,” she said. “I am a single mom, and I raise my son on my own. We pay for that school and work hard to be there.”

“This was offensive, even racist and in really poor taste,” one person told WBTV. “I’m shocked that it was allowed. Does CMS [Charlotte Mecklenburg School District] really condone this kind of behavior?” 

“The thing that was so disturbing was it was children,” Swanson said. “Whether they are high school, elementary school or middle school – they’re children. The administration, the coaches, the athletic director – they had to know it.”

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Parents reportedly banded together and demanded Butler address the situation.

“Squad members and adults responsible for oversight will face consequences as a result of that banner display. School and district officials will offer no specific information about this disciplinary matter,” the school district said in a statement.

Butler issued a formal apology to Charlotte Catholic, and the Butler cheerleaders also made a formal apology to the Charlotte Catholic cheerleaders.

Charlotte Catholic principal Kurt Telford issued a gracious statement on the matter. “We understand how emotions surrounding sports events can sometimes result in actions that do not represent an organization’s values,” he said. “It is our hope that everyone will learn from such moments because at the end of the day we are all one community.”