A Black Daphne High School cheerleader quit the team after six of her white teammates posed for a picture holding a confederate flag T-shirt. Reagan Coleman, who was one of two Black cheerleaders on the squad, quit the team on the first day of practice after school administrators declined to address the July 4 photo.
“No matter how much I love something, no matter how passionate I am about something, I love myself more and I respect myself more and I could not be on that team,” Coleman told WKRG.
In the photo, six white cheerleaders posed with a T-shirt that read, “I [love] Redneck Boys.” The word “love” was depicted by a heart symbol with a confederate flag inside of it. Coleman’s mother Latitiah said school administrators did not give her a clear response when she contacted them about the photo.
“I went from the coach to the principal, from the principal to the superintendent,” Coleman’s mom told the outlet. “And I kept getting vague answers. It was almost like everybody was reading a script.”
Coleman has since created a petition to call for the girls to be reprimanded by the school. “They have faced remotely no consequences and are still on Daphne’s Cheer Team,” reads the petition, which has been signed by more than 10,000 people. “I have since quit the team due to their carelessness and inactivity. I am not trying to ignite hate on these girls, I just simply want everyone to see what Daphne High School allows.” Coleman also said that one of the girls has used the N-word multiple times and has sent her harassing text messages.
Baldwin County Public Schools released a statement saying that the issue was “handled at the local school level.” They did not share any details about the punishment the girls received, due to privacy laws.
“As with any student issue, federal law prohibits us from discussing disciplinary actions, if any, involving our students,” the statement read. “Our system has implemented sensitivity programs and Superintendent [Eddie] Tyler has stressed that we have zero tolerance for racism and bullying in our system.”
If you would like to sign the petition, click here. Check out the controversial photo below.