Parents in Pleasantville, New York, have found a “Trump 2020” flag on display on a neighbor’s property across the street to be rather offensive, and are asking the homeowners to remove it.
As Yahoo Lifestyle reports, Bedford Road Elementary School in Westchester County, New York, is, like a lot of schools, in the middle of a residential neighborhood, with houses directly across the street. In one such house lives an unidentified homeowner, who tells WCBS-TV in New York City that he is a big supporter of Donald Trump, though he declined to speak on the record.
To show his support of Donald Trump, the man is flying a flag with two messages: “Trump 2020” and “No More Bulls**t.” Though obviously not official merchandise from the Trump campaign, several retailers offer flags with a similar message, including this one from I Americas Flags.
Below the pro-Trump flag is an American flag, which is displayed in violation of federal law, as rules state that no other flag can fly above the American flag.
Parents whose kids attend the elementary school across the street reportedly aren’t impressed. And it’s not the pro-Trump message that has them upset, but rather the obscenity. That’s what Mary Fox-Alter, the superintendent of the Pleasantville Union Free School District, claims in a letter sent to the neighbors.
“In the spirit of being a good neighbor, in the spirit of partnership… would you please remove the flag with the obscenity on it.”
Flag with 'Trump 2020' and 'No More Bulls***' is flying outside of a school and parents are upset https://t.co/qLuXnV6psW
— roeleo (@roe_con) March 1, 2019
The homeowner told Fox-Alter that he has no intention of taking down his flag, saying it’s a “free speech issue.” He also claims that kids are exposed to worse words than “bulls**t” every day online, and that other parents have told him, privately, to stick to his guns.
Parent Marise D’Souza rejects the notion that this is a First Amendment issue, however.
“I believe in free speech, and I believe in the ability to express your opinions, but I think this is a community, and people need to think about what they’re putting out there, especially in front of our children.”
As of this writing, it remains unclear if the school district intends to invoke the courts in order to force their neighbor’s hand. But should that happen, it’s difficult to predict how such a court case would turn out. As The National Constitution Center notes, federal courts, including the Supreme Court, have long since held that the First Amendment does not protect obscenity. But the problem lies in defining what exactly counts as obscenity, and courts have been reluctant to do that.