One North Carolina high school recently hosted an “American Night” football game, but apparently the principal of the school doesn’t feel that showing support for the President of the United States is very patriotic.
ABC 11 in Durham reported that one 18-year-old student was told that he must change out of his jersey with President Trump’s name on the back and the number 45 on it. The principal then escorted him out of the event.
Now, the student’s father is speaking out against the school.
“I think any mother or father would feel like I feel,” Mike Collins explained during an interview with the news station.
He explained, “We don’t want any kids violated. 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.”
WTVD reports that the Harnett Central High School’s game’s theme that night was “USA America” night.
Matthew Collins was asked to remove his jersey, which is pictured below:
A father tells me his son was asked by the school principal to remove this jersey during a patriotic-themed football game after people complained. Dad, a registered Democrat, says his son complied but felt humiliated. @HarnettCoSchool says it supports expression not disruptions pic.twitter.com/W9U9v2vBLF
— Tim Pulliam (@TimABC11) October 10, 2018
Conservative webpage Big League Politics interviewed the student, who explained that the situation should upset any sane American. He went on to say that high school students and their parents should be especially concerned.
Take a look at his response:
“I was minding my own business talking with friends and cheering on my high school football team. I never walked to the bathroom nor committed any action that would draw attention to myself …,” Matthew Collins said.
“I was standing on the front row and people were standing behind me making it very hard to see the back of my shirt. So half time comes around and Mrs. Gordon (the principal) singled me out and pointed at me telling me to come towards her. I walk towards her as requested when she says ‘Do you have another shirt you can change into?’. I respond ‘yes but why’. Gordon then says ‘parents are complaining about your shirt’ I make the statement of ‘why? He is the president of the United States and it is America Night’. She responded with ‘its political’. I came back at her with ‘how is it political? He is our president and it’s America Night’. She then stated ‘change the shirt’. As this conversation was going on, she was walking me to the front gate. However, instead of taking the stairs right beside the student section, she walked me in front of the entire stadium.
“The student section is located near the end zone of one side of the field and she walked me to the staircase at the complete other end of the field in front of everyone. I then make the statement to Mrs. Gordon that ‘if Obama’s name was on the back of this jersey, you wouldn’t have a problem with it’ She froze up and honestly didn’t know what to say. She walked me to the gate and asked ‘if I payed’ because she was going to give me my money back. I said no and walked to my truck. At this point, I was so furious I almost had tears coming out. Mr. Booker (assistant principal) ran after me making the statement of ‘don’t let them win’ and ‘come back in the game just without the jersey’. He then says ‘it’s just parents complaining non stop’. I then respond ‘those parents are what’s wrong with America’ and he agreed with me. I eventually walk back in the game WITHOUT the jersey on because that was the only way I was getting back in. I felt everyone was looking at me therefore, a couple of guys and I completely left. I 100% believe I was discriminated against as well my first amendment right was violated. There were many ways to handle this situation and the way Cindy Gordon did it, was just wrong. She humiliated me and embarrassed me in front of everyone in that stadium.”
How ironic is it that at an event that was meant to celebrate being American and having freedoms, a principal escorted a student out for supporting our country’s President?
The Daily Record, a Harnett County-based newspaper, writes that the principal of the school, Cindy Gordon, has declined to comment on the situation.
Harnett County school district also declined to comment on the issue, however they did broadly claim that they allow their students to express their views freely.
“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 statement read, according to WTVD.
The father of Matthew Collins, a registered Democrat, explained that it wasn’t about supporting Trump, personally.
Collins stated, “We’re not promoting Donald Trump. 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.”