A homecoming banner that was reportedly on display at Carolina Forest High School has caused a stir on social media.
The banner reads “Homecoming 2017” and has the school’s athletic logo drawn on it along with its opponent’s, Socastee High School.
But what’s causing controversy is the slogan written underneath — “We’ll leave you in a trail of tears!!!”
“My stepdaughter (who is of indigenous descent) goes to high school here,” Ian Currie wrote on Facebook. He posted a picture of the banner and added, “That's the clever rallying cry they came up with for their homecoming game against a team called the Braves.”
SHS’s mascot is the “Braves,” with the depiction of a Native American.
“My stepdaughter and my wife’s side of the family are all of Cherokee Indian descent, so when I saw ‘the trail of tears,’ in my own knowledge of history, the Trail of Tears was basically the genocide against Cherokee people,” Currie said by phone.
“I feel like high school students in the United States should know what that was, and know that that’s not something to be made light of. I don’t really understand what was wrong with ‘beat Socastee.’”
“I just don’t want any student anywhere to feel like they are less important or that their lives and their heritage is less valid than anyone else’s,” Currie added.
The banner was taken down from the school’s cafeteria on Saturday, according to Lisa Bourcier, Horry County Schools spokeswoman.
“We have also addressed the situation and are confident that the persons responsible for the banner at no time intended for it to be offensive,” Bourcier said Monday afternoon. “The student body at Carolina Forest High School (CFHS) is extremely diverse and comes from many different religious and ethnic backgrounds. Teenagers, as well as adults, act sometimes without first thinking about how their actions may impact others.”
Bourcier added that the school will use the situation as a learning opportunity.