Harnett Central High School in Angier, North Carolina, have created immense amounts of criticism for themselves after forcing an 18-year-old student to remove a jersey featuring President Trump’s name during a football game. The true irony of the story is the request was made during a special “patriotic themed” football game where fans were asked to show their patriotism.
The father of the student, Mike Collins, slammed the schools decision, saying the action and reasoning were completely ridiculous.
Mr. Collins and his son were told by school officials that the USA themed, No. 45 Trump jersey, was distracting and potentially uncomfortable for other guests in attendance. Collins told reporters his son complied with the schools demands but was so humiliated he ended up leaving the game.
“We don’t want any kids violated. We don’t want to see kids embarrassed over something like this,” Collins told the ABC reporter. “He was not disrespectful. He was not acting in a manner that would cause attention to him.”
Collins added that he and his son did not say a word about President Trump or politics in general while at the football game. He was not being obnoxious or proclaiming the greatness of Donald Trump. As a matter of fact, Collins made it known that he is a registered Democrat, but believes it is important to support our President.
“We’re not promoting Donald Trump. He’s our president. Again, you’ve got to respect your president. I can assure you that there was nothing about this shirt that was disruptive. I think we should stand up for our rights,” Collins said.
“Whether you support our president, or you agree with our president or disagree, that has nothing to do with this,” he added. “We are respecting our president, we’re respecting authority, and that’s what my son did.”
Strangely, Harnett Central High School officials, without apologizing in anyway, or admitting any wrongful judgements, later backed the student’s right to freedom of speech.
“While we cannot comment on specific student issues, the Harnett County Schools supports and affirms students’ rights to express themselves,” the district said in a statement. “As long as the expression does not disrupt, and is not reasonably expected to disrupt, the educational mission of the school system, these rights include wearing clothing expressing political messages or supporting political candidates.”
Collins has already consulted with an attorney on the matter, and is contemplating taking legal action against the high school. He noted that board members of the Harnett Central school district promised to take direct action and make things right.
The board members kept their promise to Collins, swiftly removing and replacing the principal, Cindy Gordon.
Ms. Gordon is the school official that requested the specific student remove his Trump jersey. Board members decided Gordon’s actions were politically influenced, and completely unacceptable.