An Oklahoma high school student was caught on video allegedly knocking a classmate’s MAGA hat off of his head and allegedly grabbing his “Trump 2020” flag, and may face criminal charges, KOCO-TV (Oklahoma City) is reporting.
The incident happened last week at Edmond Santa Fe High School’s Double Wolf Dare Week, which, among other things, allowed students to dress in costume in order to raise money. At least one student took the opportunity to express their support for Donald Trump, wearing the red-and-white MAGA hat that has become something of a symbol of the Trump administration. The student was also wearing a Trump-themed hooded sweatshirt and was bearing a “Trump 2020” flag.
One student apparently took exception his classmate’s fashion choices. The student — whose name and age will not be released due to federal student privacy laws — was wearing a vest and, in the video, appears to block a teen wearing a MAGA hooded sweatshirt. He can also be heard allegedly telling the student to take it off or he will rip it off. Finally, he can be seen allegedly knocking off his classmate’s hat and threatening to burn it. The two teens exchange words, and then the video ends.
The incident was caught on cell phone video and was posted to social media, where it has been viewed “thousands” of times, according to KOCO. The video is available via YouTube.
Dinner Tonight??— BigOsBBQOKC (@BigOsBBQOKC) February 26, 2019
Stop By The Restaurant (285 S. Santa Fe, Edmond) From 5:00pm Until We Close and Support Edmond Santa Fe High School Double Wolf Dare Week!!
A Portion Of All Sales Will Be Donated To DWDW For The Anna’s House Foundation Sea The Change Project.#DWDW #SantaFeWolves pic.twitter.com/Ehq11DyjCi
Officials at the high school say they have in-house surveillance video that shows exactly the same thing as the cell phone video. However, due to privacy laws that protect students’ activities in school, that video will not be released to the media or to the general public.
It appears that the student in question will face both in-school discipline and possibly criminal charges. As for the discipline he’ll face in-house, that will not be revealed to the public due to privacy laws. He has been issued a summons on charges of assault and battery, and the victim’s parents say they intend to pursue criminal charges.
The alleged aggressor, meanwhile, says he plans to issue an apology.
Public high schools across the country walk a fine line between allowing their students to express their First Amendment rights while at the same time avoiding disruptions to the learning process. Some come down on the side of forbidding all political clothing, while others allow it without restrictions.
In a statement, Edmond Public Schools officials said that they, too, are attempting to walk that fine line, while at the same time teaching its students the proper way to express their political differences.
“The school district honors students’ First Amendment rights but must, at the same time, be vigilant in teaching and supporting students as they learn how best to respectfully express their opinions.”