California teacher threatens to kick student out of Zoom class for having Trump 2020 banner, teen leaves anyway
The educator at Colusa High School offered a 'count of 15' for the 16-year-old student to remove the banner or take it out of the camera's view
A high school teacher reportedly threatened to kick a student out of an online class over a 'Trump 2020' campaign banner in his room. The educator at Colusa High School in Colusa, California, offered a "count of 15" for the 16-year-old student to remove the banner or take it out of the camera's view. However, the teenager voluntarily left the class, The Sun reported.
As the Chemistry teacher began counting, another student in the classroom recorded the incident. The teenager in question, however, waved goodbye and left the Zoom chat even before the teacher could get to 10. The boy's mother, identified only as Tiffany, is now demanding clear student guidelines from the school. “With the distance learning we are all forced to do because of the new color chart, the school district has not addressed the student’s rights in their own home to the teachers or to us as parents,” Tiffany told KXTV.
While the 16-year-old has not faced disciplinary action over the incident, his mother has said she's growing increasingly frustrated about the school's policies ever since it moved to virtual learning in light of the coronavirus pandemic. “Let us know as parents what it is you’re expecting from us because this distance learning is horrible,” Tiffany told the outlet. According to the parent, the teacher has since apologized. However, Tiffany now wants clear guidelines as to what students can and cannot show in the background or where they are expected to be during school hours.
“The Governing Board believes that free inquiry and exchange of ideas are essential parts of a democratic education," Colusa High School’s code of conduct states. “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.” Meanwhile, a student handbook also addresses free speech rules on and off-campus, as well as "online media." However, it does not address the novel distance learning aspect of the school's day-to-day functioning.
In December 2019, we reported how a high school student from Michigan was assaulted by her teacher because she was wearing a pin in support of Trump. Speaking to Fox News, 16-year-old Sadie Earegood, a junior at Mason High in Mason, Michigan, said that her teacher Paul Kato "aggressively" grabbed a 'Women For Trump' pin on her jacket, saying he "took both hands and unlatched the pin from my jacket and put it upside down on his shirt and said it belongs upside down".
"I was just really shocked that a teacher would especially do that," she said of the incident. "He's talking about the 'Women for Trump' pin and I said, 'that's fine you don't have to like it, we can have our opinions'." According to WILX 10, her family subsequently filed a police complaint, saying the teacher had assaulted her. “He had no right to put his hands on my child over a pin or anything else,” Sadie’s mother Capi Earegood said. “The First Amendment gives everyone the right to express their freedom of speech. No one should get that upset about someone wearing a political pin.”
Meanwhile, Sadie said she will neither stop being outspoken in her views nor will she stop wearing political pins. “I just want him to know that it’s not okay to do that. I want this to be a learning experience for other teachers, and I’m not going to stop wearing my political stuff,” she told WILX 10 at the time.