A California teenager is taking her school district to court after she was told she could not wear her “Make America Great Again” hat to class.
Maddie Mueller believes she is being targeted for her conservative and patriotic views, telling Fox News host Laura Ingraham on “The Angle” Monday that she witnessed several other political and themed clothing items being worn at Clovis North High School.
The high school senior told Ingraham that she would have to “wholeheartedly disagree” with the Fresno school that it is not discriminating in enforcing its existing dress code policy.
Mueller saw “four Hillary Clinton T-shirts, one Obama shirt, a Bernie Sanders hat and about seven LGBTQ rainbow flag hats on campus today,” adding that she saw them on students in classrooms, a violation of the school’s policy prohibiting hats and caps from being worn in classrooms.
“That’s pretty good evidence,” Ingraham noted.
The Fox News host shared that, in a statement to “The Angle,” the Clovis Unified School District pointed out that the student was not allowed to wear the hat because “it wasn’t a school hat or a hat from a school club or activity.”
“Our dress code is actually silent on ‘political’ attire,” the district’s statement added, “because we don’t intend to position ourselves to be making subjective judgements about what is and isn’t ‘political.'”
As a member of a group called the Valley Patriots, Mueller was asked to wear her MAGA hat on Feb. 20 but was cited by the school, which the student claims violated her First Amendment rights.
The 18-year-old told Ingraham that, as part of a conservative family, she decided it was time to “stand up” against the “conservative and Christianity monitoring that is going on on campuses.” Ingraham cited the words of former Federal District Judge Oliver Wanger, who noted that the school district may have the legal right to restrict Mueller in this case.
“The hat is something that could invoke violence or invoke controversy,” Wanger said. “Then, for the safety of the students, the school is within its legal right.”
Mueller noted that until Wanger’s comments, it was never brought to her attention that her hat could be deemed as something that could incite violent behavior, adding emphatically that she plans to keep wearing her hat proudly though she has refrained recently because “it’s a big issue right now.”
“I did order a black one and I intend to try and wear it on campus because black is one of our school colors,” she said, explaining that she has to get all of her sweatshirts approved before wearing them to school.
The high school teen had pushed back against the Clovis dress code, saying “To my knowledge, Trump is not a logo. It’s a last name. It’s just our president. You can’t claim the president is a logo, sports team or affiliated with any gang,” WDBJ reported.
“It’s unfortunate that our dress code is being misrepresented as specifically singling out a MAGA hat as that is not what the policy says,” the school district’s Chief Communication Officer Kelly Avants said, clarifying for the media. “The district dress code allows for students to wear shirts or other clothing with a wide variety of sayings and/or political commentary. Unless causing an actual disruption on campus, MAGA apparel is acceptable, and this has been shared with the student,”
“Bottom line for us is the dress code is for kids to feel safe at school and free of distractions so they can focus on learning,” Avants added.
But Mueller pointed out that she has repeatedly been cited for dress code violations for wearing patriotic and Trump-related clothing.
“I’m not really caring if I’m offending anybody. I’m just showing support for the president and what I believe,” she said.
“That’s a non-conformist,” Ingraham declared at the conclusion of her interview with the conservative student.
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