LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. – If you’re planning on attending the East Limestone’s home football game tonight, you may notice a sign on the scoreboard that is causing a bit of a stir.
Local businesses financing advertisements at local school ball fields is a time-honored tradition. Some owners put their business names and contact numbers on signs, but at East Limestone High School, the owner of Veep Electric added an extra phrase to his in honor of President Donald Trump.
“There’s been nothing but nonsense, and people out there decrying his election. ‘Not my president, wah wah wah,’ so I thought that a show of support for the president was what was needed,” said Skip Van Pamel.
Some questioned whether a sign with a political message should be allowed on school grounds.
“We don’t believe that either party should have signs in schools, endorsing candidates or endorsing political parties,” said Ken Hines of the Limestone County Democrats.
The Limestone County School Board sought legal council regarding the sign. The current school system policy is that political signs may not be placed on school property. But the board has the final say, and they ultimately deemed the sign acceptable.
“It would be an affront to logic to say that ‘Go Trump #MAGA’ is not a political sign,” said Hines.
Van Pamel said he didn’t break any rules.
“I could see if there was some kind of maybe negative message of any kind up there. I believe that would be a violation of policy.”
He explained his motive was clear from the start.
“I support the president, I voted for him. But there’s no hidden agenda behind it.”
Hines said it’s well within a person’s rights to express their political views.
But the school board should rethink their resolution.
“I admire him for it, I just don`t think the school board made the right decision,” Hines explained. “He is using the school as a forum for his political position.”
Van Pamel also says the sign isn’t advertising to students because the vast majority of high school students cannot vote. He says he thinks schools in the state need to do a better job of teaching students about civics and politics.