Monday, December 16, 2019
US flag

H.S. student/Trump supporter says he was bullied

Conner Mullen, a student at South Portland High School in Maine, says other students, teachers, and administrators bullied him last year because he supports Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for president and likes to wear a red hat with the words “Make America Great Again” written on it to school, he wrote on Red Alert

Just two days [after I bought the hat], I walked into school, donning my newest prized possession on my head, and was greeted with stares from my classmates and muffled comments made under their breath. I knew this was the intolerance Trump had been talking about.

Negative comments turned to actions the next day. Other students began knocking the hat off my head, insulting me, and trying to shame me into not wearing it. This went on for weeks, even two teachers started throwing verbal jabs at me, telling me to take the hat off in class, informing the class that Trump voters were ‘dumb,’ and one said to me, “Thank God you can’t vote.”

My parents told me it would pass. I hoped they were right but things seemed to only get worse. One day, a girl walked up to me and threw my hat in the garbage, and I saw three people taking photos of her doing it. I had had enough. My friend who loaned me the money for the hat backed me up on all the abuse I had taken. We went to the assistant principal, who advised me to just leave the MAGA gear at home.

Mr Mullen has also been interviewed by news outlets, like WCSH-TV (NBC affiliate) in Portland, which contacted the school to get the alternative perspective.

Superintendent of Schools Ken Kunin responded, “Schools need to be a place where kids of a variety of political persuasions, religions, and races can all come together in a respectful dialogue,” Kunin said. “Sometimes we do that well and sometimes we make stumbles. … Our job is to always do it better.”

In telling the Portland Press Herald that disciplinary action had been taken against the student who threw Mr Mullen’s hat in the trash, Mr Kunin said he told the student, “That’s not OK. You don’t do that. We defend our students’ First Amendment rights.”

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Girls’ volleyball champs in Illinois

We congratulate the Illinois state champions in girls' volleyball: Newark, St Teresa, Sterling, & Benet Academy.

A weekend of ‘band geeks’ across America

The musical Band Geeks was in performance at a MD high school, just as marching bands from across America named a national champion.

2 dead, 3 wounded in Calif. school shooting

Another school shooting has resulted in the death of 2 California high school students. The suspect shot himself and is in custody.

Mercury makes a transit; next in 2032

A transit of Mercury occurred today and was visible from the US, provided you had sunny skies. It was one of longest possible transits.

On the Naperville BWW racist incident

A racist incident at a Naperville, IL, sports bar indicates that the threads of racism are strong, perhaps as strong as ever.

IL bill could excuse absences to vote

A proposed law in IL could give students up to two hours during the school day so they could vote in the upcoming election.

Loan forgiveness gains some bipartisan support

One Republican from GA, who used to work under Betsy DeVos at the US Education Dept, offers a plan to forgive some student loan debt.

A band teacher is IL Teacher of the Year

IL named a band teacher the 2020 Teacher of the Year on Oct. 19. He individualizes music instruction and shares his work with 1000s.

‘Little Shop of Horrors’ bookends Halloween

Several high schools have decided to add a little spook to their musical stages in this season of Halloween. Music makes it happen.

New IL law ensures inclusion of LGBTQ+

A law will take effect next school year in IL that will require students to study LGBTQ history as part of the social studies curriculum.

MoCo doubles down on summer learning loss

Research is at least equivocal about summer learning loss, but maybe there's something to a new plan in Montgomery County, Md.