Epping, NH – A New Hampshire high school student said a principal told her to cover up her Make America Great Again T-shirt and hat during her school’s “patriotic day.”
Epping High School freshman Ciretta MacKenzie said the principal told her that her political clothing violated the school’s dress code policy, according to WFXT.
MacKenzie said she wore the clothing associated with President Donald Trump on Monday during the America pride day which is part of the school’s spirit month, WFXT reported.
She said she didn’t think it would be an issue to wear clothing supporting the current U.S. president.
“It’s just a shirt, and it only says Trump make America great again, it doesn’t say anything like build a wall, so I don’t get how it could be offensive, how it could be disrespectful,” she said, according to WFXT.
MacKenzie borrowed a friend’s sweatshirt to cover up her MAGA shirt and she took off her hat, according to WFXT.
She checked, and said she saw nothing in the student dress code about political clothing.
Now she believes that her First Amendment rights were violated.
“If it said no political gear, I could understand why it was dress coded but it didn’t say that, so I feel like I’m obligated to have my own opinion and other people can have theirs,” she said, according to WFXT. “We don’t have to agree, that’s fine.”
The school district responded to the incident and said two students were asked to change what they were wearing.
“Since the event of April 8, there has been a multitude of responses, some of which have fact-based information and other responses less factual,” Principal Brian Ernest wrote in the letter, according to WFXT. “I have always been respectful and sincere in my approach to promote civil discourse and free speech/expression. I want our students to be free thinkers and be able to express their opinions in a respectful manner.”
Epping Superintendent Valerie McKenney also sent a letter to parents.
“The Epping School Board and Epping District’s position is that this event should not ever have taken place, and we are committed to the creation of a school environment that promotes open and free thought and dialogue,” McKenney wrote, according to WFXT.