GILBERT, AZ—Eight students accused school staff of disciplining them over wearing “Make America Great Again” attire and taking pictures with a Trump sign on the last day of Spirit Week on March 1 at Perry High School. The students were reportedly asked to leave the campus by the student resource officer on Friday
“Our administration has not and will not discipline a student for lawfully their free speech rights,” said Principal Dan Serrano in a email to parents. “Students may lawfully be held accountable for complying with the District’s lawful policies, administrative regulations and expectations for student conduct set forth in the Student Handbook.”
The email mentions a group of students caused a disruption by displaying a political sign during lunch and were asked to put it away in which they complied. After school, the students unveiled the sign again “In a manner that again caused concern for student safety,” said Serrano.
When Jennifer Farris, a mother with two students in the group, arrived at the school’s office, she screamed, yelled and used profanity, including the “F” word in the presence of students and staff according to Serrano.
“When the parent would not cease her screaming, yelling and cursing, Mr. Serrano asked her to leave. She refused to do so. At that point, Mr. Serrano told the parent that she was trespassing, which meant that he was directing her (rather than requesting her) to leave the campus. He did not tell her that she was trespassing when she arrived at the school.”
Canyon News attempted to contact the Chandler Unified School District, but they were unable to disclose specifics on the discipline because of litigation and federal privacy laws relating to disclosure of of student information.
The CUSD made a statement that the administration asked the students to put away a Trump banner not their clothing. The students engaged in a verbal altercation and the administration was concerned that it would escalate.
On Monday, March 4 around 40 people including community members and a few students, assembled outside the school with “Make America Great Again” signs and attire to support President Donald Trump and the students involved in last week’s incident.
State GOP officials have requested the state attorney general Mark Brnovich to investigate possible free speech violations.
“We received the letter,” Ryan Anderson, a spokesman for Brnovich told The Arizona Republic. “We’ll look at all of the facts. We just don’t know enough about the situation right now.”