School bans boy's hat because bullies can't handle it

Jun 6, 2016 at 12:37 p.m. ET
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The average 9-year-old probably isn't too concerned about the current general election nail-biter, but one little boy has an opinion and is not afraid to tell the world. Just like presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, he wants to "Make America Great Again" and proudly sported the pro-Trump message on a hat he wore to school.

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Whether or not you agree with his choice, the third-grader deserves credit for expressing an interest in politics, right?

Well, that's not exactly what Logan Autry's school, Powers-Ginsburg Elementary School in Fresno, California, has done. For three days in a row, Logan wore his red hat (which was signed by Trump at a rally last month) at school but outside of class, which is permitted under school rules. However, Logan says that after he was bullied about his hat, with older kids making inflammatory remarks to him, a teacher stepped in and told him to remove the hat for safety reasons.

In response to Logan's allegations that his First Amendment rights have been violated, the school said in a statement, "It is our responsibility to take precautions when the discourse begins to impact our school climate and interrupt school operations."

Putting all political leanings aside for now — which we know is easier said than done right now — surely the issue here isn't about politics at all? It's about teaching kids about right and wrong. Logan wasn't wrong to wear a Trump hat, and he wasn't breaking any school rules by doing so. On the other hand, the kids who bullied him were completely in the wrong. So why is it that Logan is the one being made to make a change and take off this hat?

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We're lucky to live in a democratic society, where we can vote for whatever political party we like, and our choice is nobody else's business. It'll be a long time before Logan is able to vote, but he's entitled to assert himself as a Trump supporter in the same way another child would be entitled to proclaim their allegiance to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. If the other students can't handle it, then they're the ones with a problem that should be addressed.

This situation would have been a great opportunity for the school to encourage a healthy debate on politics, get students interested in what's going on in the political world and teach them how to make informed political decisions when they're old enough to vote.

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Instead, Powers-Ginsburg Elementary School got it completely wrong by punishing the child who was being bullied and failing to enforce the message that kids need to be kind to one another, regardless of their differences.

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