An Oklahoma high schooler could face an assault charge after the teen attacked a classmate wearing a Make America Great Again hat and other gear supporting the president, then posted a video of the stunt online.
Kenneth Dewayne Jones, an 18-year-old black student at Edmond Santa Fe High School, asked a friend to record video as he confronted a younger, smaller classmate over the student’s Make America Great Again hat, and the viral video is now the key evidence against him, the Edmond Sun reports.
The video shows Jones approach the white underage student and demand he remove the Trump gear, before physically ripping the items away when the boy refused to comply.
“Take it off or I’ll rip it off … do you want me to rip it off?” Jones said. “I can rip it off or I can burn it, which one do you want?”
Edmond Public Schools spokeswoman Susan Parks Schlepp refused to identify Jones because he is not yet charged with a crime. Court documents identified Jones as the culprit, the Sun reports.
The Edmond Santa Fe High School student appeared in the video wearing a yellow safety vest as he confronted a smaller classmate with a Make America Great Again cap in the school hallway on Monday.
The younger student attempted to avoid the confrontation and ignore Jones, who smacked the MAGA hat off his head, ripped away the Trump 2020 banner and threw it on the ground. Another student intervened in the incident, which lasted only about 30 seconds.
The altercation occurred during the school’s Double Wolf Dare Week, a fundraiser that allowed students to contribute money for the privilege of wearing a hat in school, which is typically against the dress code, KOCO reports.
“Given that hats were allowed at school yesterday as part of the week-long fundraising events, there was no specific dress code violation. The student’s choice to grab a classmate’s property and knock his hat off did, however, violate the school’s discipline policy,” Edmond Public Schools spokeswoman Susan Parks Schlepp told the Edmond Sun.
“In response, Edmond Santa Fe High School administrators, working simultaneously with Edmond Police, addressed the incident with swift and immediate disciplinary action,” she said. “The school district honors students’ First Amendment rights, but must at the same time be vigilant in teaching and supporting students as they learn how best to respectfully express their opinions.”
Edmond Santa Fe officials refused to name Jones as the assailant, but confirmed the video posted online accurately depicts the situation based on a review of surveillance footage, which the district also refused to release, KOCO reports.
Jones received a municipal court summons for one count of assault and battery, though Edmond Police spokeswoman Jenny Wagnon told the Sun it’s ultimately up to the victim’s parents whether Jones will be held accountable for the crime.
“How the summons works is that the student who is an adult, who was given the municipal summons, and the parents of the other student in the hat – those parents will have to contact the city attorney’s office within five days,” she said. “And then both parties will meet with the city attorney and try to work something out. If not, then it’s up to the city attorney to file the assault charges against the student who is an adult.”
Jones told KOCO he plans to apologize to his classmate. Parents of the student who was targeted told the site they plan to pursue the assault charge against Jones.