California Teenager Arrested For Throwing Classmate’s ‘Make America Great Again’ Hat To The Ground

The 17-year-old said the hat is a 'racist and hateful symbol.'

a california teen threw a classmates hat to the ground
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The 17-year-old said the hat is a 'racist and hateful symbol.'

A California high school student is facing criminal charges after tearing a classmate’s “Make America Great Again” hat from his head and scuffling with a teacher trying to subdue her, KOVR-TV (Sacramento) is reporting.

American media outlets don’t generally name juvenile offenders by name except in rare instances, but in this case, 17-year-old Jo-Ann Butler is more than happy to admit that she was the one who allegedly did it.

The Union Mine High School student says that she “became enraged” when she saw a classmate wearing the hat.

“That’s a racist and hateful symbol.”

She then allegedly grabbed the hat off of his head and threw it to the ground. As a male teacher attempted to intervene and escort her out of the room, she allegedly slapped him. Butler denies that.

Butler is now facing battery charges for the incident, but she has no regrets, according to CBS News.

“Maybe just wake people up in some type of way, because it’s not cool, the environment our classroom is in.”

Her father, Chris Butler, admits that his daughter should have handled the situation differently. But he also notes that if his daughter’s outburst draws attention to her beliefs about the Trump administration, then so be it.

“I don’t agree with grabbing someone’s hat and verbally talking to them in that way. But as far as the issue being brought up, maybe this is something that needs to be brought up.”

The school district, for its part, allows students to wear clothing items that make political statements.

Butler has been suspended from school for a week. In a statement, the El Dorado Union High School District reiterated that students comfort and safety is their top priority and that the incident is “being investigated.” Meanwhile, prosecutors have not yet decided if they will file criminal charges against Butler.

The unidentified victim is not the first teenager to be assaulted for wearing a Make America Great Again hat. There have been at least two other such incidents, both involving teens, already this year.

In July, as the Inquisitr reported at the time, a San Antonio teenager was eating at a Whataburger when an assailant allegedly verbally berated him for wearing the hat, and then allegedly tore it from his head and walked away with it. Similarly, later in July, as reported by the Inquisitr, an Illinois teen visiting Seattle says he was verbally assaulted and spit on for wearing the hat.