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A California high school student was given 15 seconds to remove a “Trump 2020” flag from view or be kicked out of a virtual classroom.
The 16-year-old student in an online class for Colusa High School was ordered by his chemistry teacher to take down the “Trump 2020, Keep America Great” banner in his room or adjust the camera view. The teacher then began to count as seen in a recording of the class made by another student.
“Since school has begun, my son has had this Trump flag hanging in his background,” the student’s mother, Tiffany, told KOVR-TV.
“You can sit up, remove the flag, or reposition your camera within the next 15 seconds or I’m kicking you out of class,” the teacher allegedly said during the online class in the northern California town, according to Tiffany.
“One, two, three, four – I will be kicking you out of class,” the teacher could be heard telling the teenager in the video.
But she did not even make it to ten before the student gave a wave and exited the virtual class.
(Source: CBS Sacramento)
“At first I was furious,” Tiffany told ABC10.
“With the distance learning we are all forced to do because of the new color chart, the school district has not addressed the students’ rights in their own home to the teachers or to us as parents,” she said in an email statement.
The teacher has since apologized but the parent is blaming the school board for not giving clear guidance, according to KOVR-TV.
“She is a new teacher and it’s a mistake,” Tiffany said. “There hasn’t been any guidance given to her as a teacher for the school.”
She told the outlet that her request to a board representative to clarify the high school’s code of conduct was not productive.
“He flat out told me no. We’ve just not been given any guidance,” she said.
The State Education Code notes that students “shall have the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press including, but not limited to, the use of bulletin boards, the distribution of printed materials or petitions, the wearing of buttons, badges, and other insignia.”
Meanwhile, a portion of the Colusa Unified School District student handbook states that the “Governing Board believes that free inquiry and exchange of ideas are essential parts of a democratic education,” and that the “Board respects students’ rights to express ideas and opinions, take stands on issues, and support causes, even when such speech is controversial or unpopular.”
And while the code of conduct does prohibit students from wearing clothing with “vulgar, obscene, or profane” messages, or any that “degrade any race or other group of individuals,” there is no mention of politics, elections, or campaigning.
“We don’t know if we’re supposed to be following the on-campus handbook or a new handbook that’s addressing the distance learning issues,” Tiffany told KOVR.
Her son, who was reportedly not punished for the incident, is now not comfortable returning to the online chemistry class following the incident, according to the station.
In another incident involving a pro-Trump flag, a high school student in Washington state was removed from a virtual class because of the banner on his bedroom wall.
The teacher of the Southridge High School class in Kennewick reportedly warned the student in a chat message to remove the banner which read: “Trump 2020 No More Bulls—,” according to KEPR-TV. The student apparently did not see the message and was then dismissed from the class,
“We are aware of the alleged situation. The school administrators are in the process of doing their due diligence by conducting an investigation with staff and students to get all the facts,” the Kennewick School District said.
The parents felt that their child, who was told to remove a Trump hat in another virtual class, should be allowed to leave the banner up.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” the parents said. “If they were in school this would not have happened.”
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