Protesters gathered in front of an Arizona high school on Monday to voice their concerns over school staff allegedly punishing students for wearing pro-Trump attire last week. The principal says students were not disciplined for their political views, but rather, the school took issue with their refusal to provide their names to staff after the students unveiled “political signage” that the principal says caused “concern for student safety.”
Dozens of people gathered in front of Perry High School in Gilbert, Arizona, on Monday morning to protest the school after several students claimed they were punished for wearing pro-Trump clothing on “USA Day.”
The protesters stood across the street from the high school early on Monday morning, holding up pro-Trump signs and flags, according to a local report by Fox 10.
The students say that they were disrespected by school staff and asked to leave campus for wearing MAGA clothing. Additionally, two students say they were punished due to instances involving their pro-Trump attire and flags.
One student was reportedly suspended for ten days, while another student claims his coach forced him to do 1,000 up-downs as punishment for being “disrespectful.” Both students had either worn MAGA clothing or had with them a MAGA flag for “USA Day” on Friday.
The school district had denied that the first student was suspended for political reasons and insisted that her punishment was due to “an unrelated matter,” but would not elaborate.
In a statement issued later to local media, Perry High School Principal Dan Serrano said that students had not been disciplined for political reasons, but did note “political signage” that Serrano says created disruption and safety concerns.
“The students were asked to put away the signage and they complied. However, after school ended for the day, the students unveiled the signage again in a manner that again caused concern for student safety,” said the principal.
“When the school’s Resource Officer asked the students to leave campus, they declined,” continued Serrano, “They also refused to respond to my request to provide their names and school identification when I sought to interview them.”
The principal insists that the school’s administration “has not and will not discipline a student for lawfully exercising their free speech rights.”
“It is our responsibility to maintain a safe campus and ensure there are no disruptions to the educational environment,” stated Serrano, adding that those who “refuse to comply” may be asked to leave campus when in the interest of “safety, security and effective school operations.”
Principal Serrano did not respond to Breitbart News’ multiple requests for comment.