McAdory High School issues apology for ‘Trail of Tears’ banner held up at weekend football game

 

By Ana Rodriguez | arodriguez@al.com

November 18, 2013 AL.com

MCCALLA, Alabama — McAdory High School has issued a public apology for a “Trail of Tears” banner that was held up during a weekend football game versus the Pinson Valley Indians.

The sign, which originally began making the internet rounds through a Tumblr blog post, reads:

“Hey Indians, get ready to leave in a Trial of Tears part 2”

On the McAdory High School website, Principal Tod Humphries said he accepts ” full responsibility that arrangements were not made to have the signs pre-approved before the ballgame.”

The person who is usually in charge of approving such signs, he said, is currently out on maternity leave.

The sign, said Humphries, “was not condoned by the school administration, the Jefferson County Board of Education or the community.”

Humphries then goes on to offer “sincere apologies to the Native American people and to anyone who was offended by the reference to an event that is a ‘stain’ on our nation’s past forever.”

Click here to read the full apology.

The Trail of Tears refers to the U.S. Government’s forcible removal of
Indians from areas in the Southeast to what is now Oklahoma. The move came during the 1830s as part of a push to remove all tribes east of the Mississippi to the west.  The Trail encompassed the relocation of the Seminole, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek and Choctaw nations.

About 1,070 Indians were transported from Ross’ Landing in Chattanooga to what is now Waterloo. Much of the 230-mile journey followed what is now U.S. 72.

From 1838 to 1839, as many as 20,000 Cherokee marched or rode in wagons or boats to Arkansas and Oklahoma. The route is known as the Trail of Tears because about 4,000 died on the trip.

Earlier today, BuzzFeed posted a story about the controversial banner on its website.

The banner and its message have also sparked conversation on Twitter:

Photo: Last night, this sign went up at a McAdory High School football game. I am absolutely disgusted that… http://t.co/4v6alGkeGt

— sunny b (@sunnybeezy_) November 18, 201

So the forced removal and deaths of thousands is ok to joke about now? Mcadory High School in Mcalla, Alabama. http://t.co/JKkgKZxc40

— IdleNoMoreSoNV (@IdleNoMoreSoNV) November 18, 2013

http://t.co/iOAZ4JtJdr very inappropriate reference to trail of tears at McAdory High School #backchannel #earlyrisers

— John (@JohnNavarra) November 18, 2013

(fiftyfourfortyorfight.tumblr.com)

(fiftyfourfortyorfight.tumblr.com)

Public Apology issued  by McAdory High School

 

Monday, November 18, 2013

To Whom It May Concern:

On 11/15/2013 at a football game at McAdory High School, a sign was displayed that made reference to the “Trail of Tears” in which Native Americans were subjected to horrific atrocities. This was not condoned by the school administration, the Jefferson County Board of Education or the community. The person who would normally be responsible for approving such signs is out on maternity leave, and I take full responsibility that arrangements were not made to have the signs pre-approved before the ballgame. Please accept our sincere apologies to the Native American people and to anyone who was offended by the reference to an event that is a stain on our nation’s past forever.

In response to the “bust thru” sign used by McAdory High School during the Round 2 State Play-Off game versus Pinson Valley High School, all social studies and history teachers will re-teach and/or review units concerning Native American displacement following the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

Sincerely,

Tod Humphries