A euphoric celebration by the Liberty High School boys' soccer team Monday night has become tempered by a post-game photo.

"First thing I saw was the flag, and so I knew given our community and given the times right now, probably was not the best practice," said superintendent Andy Tommelleo.

The photo, shared on an Instagram profile not affiliated with the district, shows Liberty soccer players posing with a Palestinian flag.

Bonnie Burdman of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation immediately called the photo 'appalling' and contacted the superintendent.
She called it a case of 'wrong place, wrong time', saying it left too much open to interpretation.

"If somebody wants to express a difference of opinion, that's fine. But it was absolutely inappropriate in a school setting in the way it was done," Burdman said.

But Suhad Hadi, head of the Arab American Community Center, disagrees.
She argued that the players posing with the flag happened after the game, not during.
Nevertheless, both she and Burdman see the situation as a teachable moment for all.

"Our kids have the world at their fingertips, literally, with the phones," Hadi said. "So they're seeing this stuff and we have to help guide their decision making process, we have to help guide their reactions."

"Going against hatred...against bullying and those kinds of teachable opportunities that we put out in response to some horrific Islamophobic activity that we've seen over the last several days," added Burdman.

The photo is gone from the initial postings but remains on an Instagram account, with Tommelleo urging the separation of politics and sports.
But what will continue are the conversations among all sides about how to keep the community unified.