School board’s response about teacher who flagged Trump shirts as swastikas says kids weren’t punished

Earlier this week a video was released that showed a River Ridge High School math teacher scolding students for wearing “Make America Great Again” T-Shirts in her classroom. She compared the slogan to swastikas and told them to leave her class.

And now the school has responded to the uproar over the incident.

A spokesperson for the school, Barbara P. Jacoby, reached out to BPR with the following letter that was sent to parents, and subsequently posted on the school’s website.

Dear Parents,

On behalf of the Superintendent, this message is to provide you with more information about a story currently circulating in the media and on social media regarding an incident at one of our high schools.

In this regard, a River Ridge High School math teacher on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 erroneously told two students their shirts with campaign slogans were not permitted in class. Her actions were wrong, as the “Make America Great Again” shirts worn by the students are not a violation of our School District dress code. The teacher additionally — and inappropriately — shared her personal opinion about the campaign slogan during class.

The school’s Principal immediately met with and apologized to these students and their families. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower is deeply sorry that this incident happened in one of our schools; it does not reflect his expectation that all students be treated equally and respectfully by our employees.

While we cannot discuss disciplinary action against a teacher, we can assure you that the students face no disciplinary action. The Superintendent also is instructing all Principals to meet with their teachers and staff to review the dress code and remind them that their political opinions should not be shared with students.

Thank you for entrusting us with your children each day. We care about them and their future success!

Barbara P. Jacoby

Chief Communications Officer

Cherokee County School District

The anger over the teacher’s actions were a major issue on social media.


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Carmine Sabia


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