A nine-year-old boy has been banned from his California elementary school after school officials decided that his red “Make America Great Again” hat was making other students feel bad.
“They told me to take my hat off because it brings negative emotions to the other children who don’t like him,” third grade Logan Autry told a local news station. He refused to take the hat off just to make other kids feel better.
“It’s my favorite hat,” he said. “The First Amendment says I can wear my hat.” (Students at Powers-Ginsburg Elementary School are normally allowed to wear hats.)
According to local news reports, more and more of Autry’s classmates were confronting him at recess over his support of the candidate.
“I’ve told them his policies on illegal immigration, and our Second Amendment, and our First Amendment and all of our amendments that need to be protected, which are not going to be an amendment at all if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders gets elected,” he told local KFSN news.
Autry got his hat when he attended Trump’s rally in Fresno last week, where he was able to briefly shake Trump’s hand and get an autograph. “He doesn’t speak like a politician. He speaks like a normal person. He knows what this country needs,” he said.
The district cited the need to maintain a “safe learning environment” in a statement explaining the decision to ban the hat. In fact, the district said it was proud that Autry was even allowed to wear the hat for a few days. “Our job as educators is to facilitate a safe learning environment where we encourage robust conversations of diverse and thoughts,” the statement said.
“We are proud that in this case, our school achieved that goal by allowing the student to wear his hat for several days. However, it is also our responsibility to take precautions when the discourse begins to impact our school climate and interrupt school operations.”
The school’s website claims it does not discriminate on the basis of “political affiliation.”
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