A California high school has told a student she cannot wear her “Make America Great” hat to school as it may make other students feel “unsafe.”
Clovis North High School’s Maddie Mueller, a politically active student who’s a member of the Valley Patriots group, said the Patriots had planned to wear MAGA hats at school last Wednesday but were informed they were not allowed.
The school district appears to be all over the place in “rationalizing” its decision. According to yourcentralvalley.com, Clovis Unified School District spokesperson Kelly Avants said the school dress code “is for kids to feel safe at school and free of distractions so they can focus on learning.”
Avants compared wearing MAGA hats to yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. However, she also said the dress code “allows for students to wear shirts or other clothing with a wide variety of sayings and/or political commentary,” and noted MAGA apparel “is acceptable.”
You can see how someone might be just a little confused.
Mueller plans to challenge the district on First Amendment grounds.
Former federal district judge Oliver Wanger says the student’s first amendment right is being stripped but the district may have the right to do so.
“If the hat is something that could invoke violence or invoke controversy, then for the sake of the safety for students the school is in their legal right.”
Maddie says she’s been dress coded repeatedly, for wearing t-shirts that say “build the wall.”
“I don’t care if I offend anybody I’m just showing support for the President and what I believe.”
Maddie’s parents support her mission but she says her mom believes the consequences could be severe.
“She’s worried they may hold me from graduating if I continue to be vocal and do things like this.”
Maddies says she has received some social media threats over this, but that will not stop her from living out her dream of becoming a congresswoman.
Clovis North High School administrator’s prohibition of conservative, senior student Maddie Mueller from wearing a MAGA hat is only the latest example of students being targeted by academia for their conservative or Christian religious beliefs. https://t.co/MLvcvPSTju pic.twitter.com/A2kwPW09RE
— TheNewAmerican (@NewAmericanMag) February 22, 2019
According to Yahoo! Lifestyle, Maddie claims she’s been “repeatedly pulled aside” by faculty at school and referred for discipline; however, “nothing made it onto my official record because there is no rule about Trump clothing,” she says.
Spokesperson Avants said “the issue raised here is specific to a hat” — that hats must have the school logo on them or be in the school’s colors. Mueller claims she had asked to wear a MAGA hat in the school’s colors but was denied. She also says she’s seen students wear other “colorful” hats with everything on them from baseball team logos to gay pride themes.
Mueller believes school personnel “lean left.” After Donald Trump’s election, she said, Clovis North offered counseling to students who “needed support.”
“I thought it was ridiculous, and so did my conservative friends.”