High school sophomore Connor Mullen was realistic enough to know that he’d face taunting from fellow students when he decided to wear a Donald Trump “Make America Great Again” ball-cap to school.
He didn’t expect it from teachers and other adults at the South Portland, Maine high school — but that’s precisely what happened, according to the Portland Press Herald, to include a teacher who told Mullen, “Thank God you can’t vote.”
That’s when the student took his concerns to school administrators, who told him if he wants to avoid problems, perhaps he should not wear the hat, the Press Herald reported.
“I like the slogan, I like Donald Trump and I like hats,” the 16-year-old student told the newspaper.
“I knew kids would pick on me about it, that’s just kids being kids, but when the adults started doing it I thought that’s problematic,” he added. “This is a school that preaches equality.”
The taunting intensified after local NBC affiliate WCSH-TV reported on the story over the weekend.
Mullen wore the Trump hat to school on Monday and said it was knocked off his head at least once, and one student told him “I’m glad you’re being bullied.”
“People wear the Bernie [Sanders] pins all the time, and I’ve never heard anything about them,” he told WCSH-TV. “But I wear this hat, and now it’s, ‘Keep the hat at home.'”
Superintendent of Schools Ken Kunin told the Press Herald that school administrators “did follow up” with the teacher mentioned above, as well as with an education technician who mocked Mullen as an uninformed voter.
He also said disciplinary action was taken against a student who threw the hat in a trash can.
“We said, of course, ‘That’s not OK. You don’t do that,’ ” Kunin said. “We defend our students’ First Amendment rights.”
Kunin also told the newspaper that South Portland High School Principal Ryan Caron informed faculty that the school should be open to and respectful of students’ ideas and speech.
Even if they support Donald Trump.
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