Did New Hampshire High School Violate the First Amendment?

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What was supposed to be a simple day to celebrate patriotism at New Hampshire’s Epping High School, turned out to be one of controversy.

The school hosted an “America Pride Day” where students were encouraged to express their patriotism, which freshman Ciretta MacKenzie used to illustrate her support for the President of the United States, wearing a shirt that said, “Trump, Make America Great Again,” along with the well-known red MAGA cap.

The consequence to that, however, was the school’s principal, Brian Ernest, asking Ciretta to cover up her shirt.

“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,” Mackenzie told Boston25.

“I don’t understand why I was dress coded,” she said. “There’s no reason. I was supporting my president. What is wrong with that?” “I feel like I’m obligated to have my own opinion and other people can have theirs,” the freshman stated. “We don’t have to agree, that’s fine.”

She continued, “He gave me a speech saying how we can’t mix church and state within school and how President Trump is very controversial.”

It’s no secret that our current president is a controversial figure. And because of this, being known as a Trump supporter can rub some who are not supporters the wrong way. This is what Ernest apparently wanted to protect Ciretta from, according to the freshman herself.

“After I covered up, because I was kind of ashamed, kids who don’t support Trump, some of them were, like, ‘You get what you deserve. Shouldn’t be wearing,’” she said.

In regards to the principle, he did apologize in a statement for overstepping his authority, which the family felt was sincere.

“We have begun to draft a plan to move forward to promote civil discourse and diversity in our schools. In retrospect, I want to fully acknowledge my error in judgment and sincerely apologize if my actions were misinterpreted and offended anyone. That was never my intention.”

And because of the situation, the entire school district was under investigation while a School Board meeting was held to discuss the issue. You can read more about this story on the New York Post.

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