A high school principal has been removed from her job after she forced an 18-year-old high school student to take off a Trump football jersey during a game.
Cindy Gordon was replaced as principal of Harnett Central High School in Angier, North Carolina, the school district announced on Friday.
The move came about a week after the father of an 18-year-old student complained that Gordon forced his son to remove a specially printed jersey with President Donald Trump’s name on it during a football game.
Students at the school were participating in a patriotic-themed football game and were encouraged to dress in anything appropriate for ‘America Night,’ according to WTVD-TV.
Mike Collins, a local resident, says his son chose to wear a jersey with the Stars and Stripes depicted on the sleeves, the Statue of Liberty torch on the front below the letters ‘USA’ across the breasts, and the name ‘TRUMP’ on the back with the number 45 below it.
Collins told WTVD that the shirt was given to his son by a friend as a gift.
But during the game, some people in the crowd did not like the overtly political shirt.
Collins said Gordon, asked his son to remove the jersey.
The boy complied and then went home. Collins said his son felt humiliated by the entire experience.
‘We don’t want any kids violated,’ the father said.
‘We don’t want to see kids embarrassed over something like this.
‘He was not disrespectful. He was not acting in a manner that would cause attention to him.’
The Harnett County School District issued a statement to WTVD.
‘While we cannot comment on specific student issues, the Harnett County Schools supports and affirms students’ rights to express themselves,’ a spokesperson for the district said.
‘As long as the expression does not disrupt, and is not reasonably expected to disrupt, the educational mission of the school system, these rights include wearing clothing expressing political messages or supporting political candidates.’
The district released another statement on Friday saying that Gordon’s removal as principal was directly related to her actions.
‘Again, we want to emphasize that Harnett County Schools supports and affirms students’ rights to express themselves – including wearing clothing expressing political messages or supporting political candidates or officeholders – in ways that are not expected to disrupt school or school events,’ the district news release said.
Collins said he is a registered Democrat. He said Gordon overreacted.
‘We’re not promoting Donald Trump,’ he said.
‘He’s our president. Again you’ve got to respect your president.
‘I can assure you that there was nothing about this shirt that was disruptive.
‘I think we should stand up for our rights.’
Collins said he has no plans to sue the school, though he did consult with a lawyer.
‘We’re very pleased that the school board and the county were quick to resolve the issue,’ the lawyer, Tony Buzzard, told the News and Observer.
He said that a number of school board members reached out to him to express their support.
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