Student forced to leave Effingham Co. football game because of Black Lives Matter shirt

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ga. (WSAV) – Phachita Wright says she never expected that her 13-year-old daughter’s Black Lives Matter t-shirt, complete with a heart above the “I”, would be a problem.

“Because it’s just a shirt. It means a lot to us, but she wasn’t wearing it to mean anything other than… a shirt.”

Wright says her daughter called Friday night and said two uniformed officers approached her, saying she’d have to leave the Effingham County High School football game and not return until she changed into another shirt.

“I asked her what she wanted to do,” Wright said. “Did she want to change or do you want to just go home? She said she just wanted to go see the game.”

Wright contacted Effingham County School District Superintendent Yancy Ford on Monday. He said the shirt violated written district policy about political advertisements at school events.

News 3 also reached out to Ford, who sent a written statement saying, in part, “the football games should be about the student-athletes, band members, cheerleaders, managers, student trainers, student fans, and all the good that a school event brings to a community. It should never be a platform for political items.”

However, that same policy apparently did not apply to a young man who Wright says was at the same football game.

She sent News 3 a picture of him wearing a shirt with an American flag on it that read, “stomp on my flag, and I’ll stomp your ass.”

When we asked why this young man wasn’t forced to leave, Ford said: “the shirt the gentleman has on with profanity is certainly inappropriate and should not be allowed in any of our school events. I have spoken to both high school principals about this issue as well.”

Wright says she’s not done dealing with the district over her daughter’s treatment and hopes the incident opens a dialogue in Effingham County about what is happening to Black people in America and their right to speak about it.

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