‘Multiple videos demonstrate the hostility that School officials displayed towards the messages expressing support for President Trump…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Arizona’s Perry High School decided Wednesday to let a student, who was suspended for wearing a “Make America Great Again” sweatshirt, return to class.
Logan Jones, a student at Perry High School in Gilbert, Ariz., and her friend wore “Make America Great Again” sweatshirts and displayed a “Trump: Make America Great Again” banner on March 1, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom.
The conservative watchdog group demanded that the school allow Jones to return to class and “remove any mention of the punishment from Logan’s records.” The school refused the latter demand, which could lead to legal action.
“Public schools have a duty to respect the legitimate free expression of students that the First Amendment guarantees to them,” said ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer. “While it’s good that the school is allowing Logan to return to school, it isn’t acceptable that this unjust suspension will remain on her record.
Jones and her friend waited until after class hours, during the school’s “Party in the USA Day” as part of spirit week, to display the banner and wear the clothing. They stood in an outdoor commons area.
A school resource officer saw them in the area and told them to leave.
The students proceeded to pack their things when the resource officer began taking their picture and asking for their names.
Jones asked why he needed her name, as she was listening to him and leaving the area.
The resource officer told Jones to speak with Vice Principal Heather Patterson. Jones again complied.
On the way to the Patterson’s office, Jones contacted her mother, Heidi Jones, who advised her to remain silent until she could get to the school. Patterson then spoke with Heidi for a few minutes, before Principal Dan Serrano interrupted the conversation and said, “I am tired of hearing this. Logan Jones, you are suspended for 10 days. Get off of school property.”
ADF did not report the content of the conversation between Heidi Jones and Patterson.
Serrano states that Jones was suspended for failing to present her name and ID upon request, which is required by the school’s policy.
“The alleged reason given for Logan’s suspension was that she had failed to identify herself when asked by school officials. However, the evidence is clear that this reason was mere pretext,” the ADF letter to Serrano said.
“Contrary to the stated reason, there is ample evidence to establish that you imposed the suspension against Logan based on a disagreement with the viewpoint of Logan’s message,” it said. “Multiple videos demonstrate the hostility that School officials displayed towards the messages expressing support for President Trump and his MAGA slogan.”
Langhofer said he is considering with the Jones family what steps to take if the school does not remove Logan’s suspension.
“Today’s students will be tomorrow’s legislators, judges, educators, and voters,” Langhofer said. “That’s why it’s so important that public schools demonstrate the First Amendment values they are supposed to be teaching to students.”