California school says third-grader’s Trump hat stirred ‘substantial disruption,’ but wasn’t banned
Logan Autry is not your ordinary 9-year-old boy.
The third-grader enjoys politics and knows his 1st Amendment rights.
So when his elementary school forced him to remove a hat in support of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Thursday in a Fresno classroom, Logan knew something was amiss.
“It’s my favorite hat,” Logan told KSEE-TV. “The 1st Amendment says I can wear my hat.”
The red “Make America Great Again” hat, like one worn by Trump at campaign rallies, drew the ire of school officials.
School officials at Powers-Ginsburg Elementary School told him to remove his hat because they feared for his safety and that it could cause “negative emotions,” Logan said. Other students had confronted him and said Trump was “stupid,” the boy said.
“I had to explain to them what Donald Trump was actually doing,” Logan told the news station.
Logan saw the presidential candidate at a rally on May 27 in Fresno. There, he met Trump, who autographed his hat.
Logan refused to remove his hat at school, but then the principal asked. Logan, who hopes to become a politician one day, stood firm and said, “No.”
Logan was asked to temporarily remove the hat “after there was an incident of substantial disruption,” said Supt. Michael Hanson of the Fresno Unified School District.
“However, to be clear, school officials never imposed an outright ban,” he said. “The student was not banned from school and was never banned from wearing the hat.”
School officials tried reaching out to the boy’s guardians multiple times to advise them that he could wear his hat to school as long as there were no disruptions, but never heard back from them, Hanson said.
The district said as educators they must provide “a safe learning environment where we encourage robust conversations of diverse ideas and thoughts.”
“We are proud that in this case, our school achieved that goal by allowing the student to wear his hat for several days,” the district said. “However, it is also our responsibility to take precautions when the discourse begins to impact our school climate and interrupt school operations.”
According to the school district’s dress code, hats can be worn only outside the classroom. But if the hat causes “safety concerns, draws undue attention to the wearer or tends to detract from the educational process,” it will be prohibited.
MORE L.A. NOW
For breaking news in California, follow VeronicaRochaLA on Twitter.
12:49 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Supt. Michael Hanson.
This article was originally published at 8:47 a.m.
The stories shaping California
Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.