A Northern California high school student was threatened with removal from his online classroom when his teacher saw a flag promoting President Trump in the student’s room.
According to CBS Sacramento, the unidentified 16-year-old student was participating in a virtual class session with his Colusa High School chemistry teacher when the teacher suddenly demanded that he take the flag down or adjust his camera angle to obscure it.
“Since school has begun, my son has had this Trump flag hanging in his background,” the student’s mother, Tiffany, told the outlet.
“You can sit up, remove the flag, or reposition your camera within the next 15 seconds or I’m kicking you out of class,” the teacher told the student according to his mother.
Another student recorded the incident just as the teacher began her 15-second countdown.
Before the teacher even came to 10, however, the student simply waved “goodbye” and left the class on his own.
In spite of the teacher’s actions, Tiffany says she and her son do not blame her.
“She is a new teacher and it’s a mistake,” she said, instead directing blame to the school board. “There hasn’t been any guidance given to her as a teacher for the school.”
Tiffany told CBS that when she reached out to a board representative for clarification on the school’s code of conduct regarding this incident, she was flatly rejected.
“He flat out told me no,” she told the outlet. “We’ve just not been given any guidance.”
A Colusa High School employee referred another local outlet to the code of conduct when asked about the incident but failed to clarify whether or not the student’s flag violated the code.
The Colusa County Schools Code of Conduct outlines a dress code that bans any clothing with “vulgar, obscene, or profane” messages, or messages which “degrade any race or other group of individuals,” but political messages are nowhere mentioned in the document.
“The Governing Board believes that free inquiry and exchange of ideas are essential parts of a democratic education,” the Colusa Unified School District student handbook reads, regarding free speech of students. “The Board respects students’ rights to express ideas and opinions, take stands on issues, and support causes, even when such speech is controversial or unpopular.”
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