Parents are “infuriated” after they claim officials at Arizona’s Perry High School suspended students for displaying a Trump banner on “Party in the USA” day Friday, the last day of a themed spirit week.
Several students told KSAZ they wore Make America Great Again gear and carried at Trump banner to school on Friday to celebrate the USA day, and school officials reprimanded the students and demanded they remove the MAGA gear.
The students reportedly refused, and at least one was suspended for her defiance.
“As we were taking pictures (with the banner) a police officer approached us and (said), ‘We are asking you to leave campus right now,’” said freshman Logan James, the student who was suspended.
Mom of Perry High School student role me her daughter & friends were kicked out for wearing Make America Great shirts & carrying Trump flag for “Celebrate USA Day” at Gilbert school. Is this another case of #MAGA #Madness for supporting @realDonaldTrump? Story on FOX10News at 9pm pic.twitter.com/Uh2lNNCTc2
— Kari Lake Fox 10 (@KariLakeFox10) March 2, 2019
Students were not told beforehand that the Trump gear wasn’t allowed, they said, though district officials made it clear MAGA gear was forbidden at a dance over the weekend in response to the clash with Trump supporting students.
The mother of one of the students involved took the issue with school officials in a recorded encounter. The video shows a school official defending the decision to kick the kids off campus, alleging the Trump flag is “disrespectful.”
HS student kicked out of school on flag day, not given a clear reason, she was wearing a #MAGA sweatshirt, the principal tries to get out of it by saying “I have a kid in the army” as his it’s ok to be prejudiced against her#PerryHighSchool#LiberalismIsAMentalDisorder pic.twitter.com/JHHGNRGDUX
— 🇺🇸Jojoh888🇺🇸 (@jojoh888) March 4, 2019
“Why is she being asked to leave? She’s not the one who brought the Trump flag, and even if she did, why can’t she have a flag on America day for school that says Make America Great Again?” the mother questioned.
“Because to carry the flag around is not good use of the flag, it’s disrespectful,” the administrator said, before demanding the mother leave the school, as well.
“I’m infuriated,” Jennifer Farris, a Perry high parent, told KSAZ. “I feel like they don’t support our president and they are inflicting those thoughts on our kids.”
The situation continued to boil over when students were banned from wear clothes supporting the president to a school dance over the weekend, prompting folks to organize a protest.
About a dozen people waived large American flags and Trump banners along Queen Creek Road in Gilbert to welcome students to school on Monday, where at least one mother complained about how her daughter was treated during the Friday altercation, KPHO reports.
School officials essentially claim students are lying about officials attempting to censor the MAGA gear, despite doing exactly that for a school dance the next day.
Perry principal Dan Serrano wrote in a letter to parents that the students’ “political signage caused a disruption and created safety concern.”
“The students were asked to put away the signage and they complied. However, after school ended for the day, the students unveiled the signage again in a manner that again caused concern for student safety. When the school’s Resource Officer asked the students to leave campus, they declined. They also refused to respond to my request to provide their names and school identification when I sought to interview them,” Serrano said.
“The information circulating about student discipline is incorrect, but the District is unable to correct the record due to federal privacy laws relating to disclosure of student information,” he wrote.
Instead, Serrano wants parents to take his word for it that “our administration has not and will not discipline a student for lawfully exercising their free speech rights.”
It’s all lawful and for safety, he assured, because at Perry “diverse opinions are valued,” Serrano wrote.
Serrano contends one student was suspended on Friday, but not for the Trump gear.