Police are investigating after a school bus aide in Florida yanked a student’s Make America Great Again hat off his head.
LISTEN TO THIS: A Martin County school bus aide is under investigation for yelling at a student then grabbing his #Trump #MAGA hat off of his head for 'hat day' at school. The school does not have clear policies against wearing political attire. @WPTV pic.twitter.com/NjxvgZKY3W
— Meghan McRoberts (@MeghanWPTV) March 8, 2019
Surveillance video from a school bus traveling to Hidden Oaks Middle School captured the moment an aide yelled at Gunnar Johansson, a 14-year-old student, and ordered him to remove his red Trump campaign hat before yanking it off his head, WPTV reported.
“Boy, if you don’t … that hat off this bus… take it off. Take that hat off… take that hat off…” the bus aide, who is yet to be identified, could be heard saying in the surveillance video obtained by WPTV.
Johansson said he wore the hat on the bus because his school permitted students to wear the hat of their choice if they donated to the March of Dimes.
He added that he chose the red campaign hat to display his “pride in Trump America.” But Johannson said he was taken aback when the aide confronted him on the bus ride to school.
“She, like, threatened me with a referral and threatened to turn the bus around. I said ‘write me up, I didn’t do anything wrong’, and then she yanked my hat off. It was crazy,” Johansson said.
Although Johansson said he did not wear his hat for the rest of the bus ride, he sent a text message to his mother explaining what had happened.
His mother initially reported the incident to school officials, but then reported it to law enforcement when school officials did not make the recording available to her.
“The district is aware of the family’s allegations. We’re taking it very seriously. We’re in the process of gathering all the facts right now,” Martin County School District Director of Safety and Security Frank Frangella, said in a statement.
Martin County Lt. Ryan Grimsdale confirmed that police had opened an investigation into the incident.
“The crux of our investigation will be the interaction directly, physically with the child and how that panned out,” Grimsdale said.