A California high school student exited his virtual class early after a teacher threatened to kick him out of class for displaying a Trump 2020 flag in his bedroom.
KOVR reported that the 16-year-old student was in his bedroom during an online Zoom class for Colusa High School when his chemistry teacher noticed the flag and demanded that he take the sign down, or adjust the camera so the flag would be out of sight.
“Since school has begun, my son has had this Trump flag hanging in his background,” the student’s mother, Tiffany, told the news outlet.
Both Tiffany and her son’s last name have been withheld from reports.
Tiffany says her son’s chemistry teacher took issue with the flag and asked him to remove it in the middle of class.
“You can sit up, remove the flag, or reposition your camera within the next 15 seconds or I’m kicking you out of class,” the teacher said during the virtual class.
In a video of the incident, the teacher could be overheard counting to 15 seconds while repeating her demand. The student waved goodbye and left the virtual classroom before the teacher could make it to the count of ten.
KOVR reported that the teacher has since apologized for the incident. The student’s mother is not blaming the teacher, but rather the school for not giving clear guidance on the issue.
“She is a new teacher and it’s a mistake,” she said. “There hasn’t been any guidance given to her as a teacher for the school.”
California’s State Education Code 48907 states the following on students’ right to freedom of speech:
“[Students] of the public schools, including charter schools, shall have the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press including, but not limited to, the use of bulletin boards, the distribution of printed materials or petitions, the wearing of buttons, badges, and other insignia, and the right of expression in official publications, whether or not the publications or other means of expression are supported financially by the school or by use of school facilities, except that expression shall be prohibited which is obscene, libelous, or slanderous.”
The Colusa County High School Code of Conduct includes a dress code ban for clothes that contain “vulgar, obscene or profane” messages or messages which “degrade any race or other group of individuals” but says nothing about political statements.