A student in California is protesting her high school’s refusal to allow her to wear her MAGA hat. The news here, of course, is that the high school kids may actually be motivated by her complaint to read and study the U.S. Constitution.
“To my knowledge Trump is not a logo it’s a last name, it’s just our president, you can’t claim the president is a logo, sports team or affiliated with any gang,” senior Maddie Mueller tells a local TV station.
The school rejected her plan to wear her hat as part of a demonstration by the Valley Patriots, of which she is a member, to wear their Trump gear on Wednesday.
“Bottom line for us is the dress code is for kids to feel safe at school and free of distractions so they can focus on learning.” said school district spokesperson, Kelly Avants.
The ACLU disagrees:
In the 1969 case of Tinker v. Des Moines, one of the most well-known student rights’ cases it has considered, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that students had a constitutional right to wear a black armband to school to protest U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
Since then, courts have continued to hold that students generally have a right to express political views through their clothing. This can include, for example, wearing clothing that endorses or criticizes a politician or, as in more recent cases, wearing t-shirts supporting or opposing gay rights.
Additionally, schools cannot prohibit students from wearing clothes that are in observance of their religion, such as a Muslim wearing a hijab in school.
The ACLU has acknowledged, though, that courts have ruled that schools can ban clothing for being “disruptive” although there’s no standard for what constitutes disruptive.
“I don’t care if I offend anybody I’m just showing support for the president and what I believe,” says Maddie, who hopes to be a member of Congress someday.
She says she’s been “dress coded” several times for wearing a “Build the Wall” T-shirt.