Utah boy, 15, bullied and spat on at school over MAGA hat and US flag face mask, labeled 'white supremacist'
WEST JORDAN, UTAH: A West Jordan High School student was bullied and spat on for wearing a 'Make America Great Again' hat, a cellphone video showed. The highschooler in question is Braxton McElhaney, 15, a sophomore. The confrontation happened on one of his first days at school, he said when he was taunted and spat on by other students because of what he was wearing. The incident's footage, recorded by one of the students who witnessed the September 3 incident inside the school premises, was shared with KUTV.
"The two girls, they kept antagonizing me, calling me a racist, saying I look r-----ed, and calling me a white supremist (sic), white privilege because I was wearing my Trump hat,” Braxton said. He added that he had a strong urge to fight back when two female students ripped his hat off, stomped on his glasses, threw his American flag face mask in the dumpster before spitting on his face. However, he took the high road and stayed calm throughout the confrontation.
The teenager's mother, Meshyalah McElhaney, said she can barely get through watching the video, while the school said they were investigating the incident. "It brings me to tears every time I watch it, and I can't believe that people who are on that side and try to push love and acceptance and toleration of other people, and then they are so against somebody who is just a patriot,” she said.
Braxton's father, Joe McElhaney, said this confrontation depicted a glimpse of the intolerance from both sides. "The way he was treated, the way that a lot of people are treated with all of this divide that we have going on in our country, it's ridiculous,” he said. As for Braxton, he remains adamant that he was not going stop wearing his MAGA hat just because there were some because who saw it in a negative light and did not approve of it. "If they were just to like sit down and talk with someone and learn about the other side and the other parties, then they would be a lot more understanding, and less hate form one side towards another,” Braxton said.
In a statement to 2News the Jordan School District said the situation was being dealt with immediacy and law enforcement had gotten involved in the matter. A spokesperson for the school district further added that details on the kind of discipline received by the students involved in the reported bullying will not be disclosed because it is a police matter.
The Braxton’s family said criminal charges were being filed although the West Jordan Police Department was not immediately available to comment. The full statement from the Jordan School District read: "Jordan School District does not tolerate or condone the type of behavior seen in this video. Our schools stand for respect and inclusion where all are free to learn and work in a safe, welcoming environment without judgment. This situation was immediately investigated with the support and involvement of law enforcement. Swift, appropriate disciplinary action was taken following district protocol.”