A Martin County student feels targeted after a bus assistant rips off his MAGA hat.
A video released from the Martin Country Sheriff’s office in Florida shows a bus assistant yelling at a 14 year old student.
Bus assistant is verbally yelling and barating Gunnar Johansson about his hat he wore. The Hat in question has Trump and “Make America Great Again” on it, and he wore it to school because Tuesday was Hat Day.
Johansson was trying to explain to the bus assistant that he paid $1 to support the March of Dimes charity in order to wear the hat. There were others on the bus wearing hats, but nothing was said to them.
“Boy, if you don’t that that hat off this bus… take it off. Take that hat off… take that hat off…” the bus aide, who has not been identified, is heard saying.
The bus aide is heard telling the teenager to put his hat in his backpack, and continuing to tell him to take it off.
“She, like, threatened me with a referral and threatened to turn the bus around. I said ‘write me up, I didn’t do anything wrong’, and then she yanked my hat off. It was crazy,” Johansson said.
“I was really confused, I was like ‘I can’t wear this?’ “Johansson said.
“In school, we learn about the first amendment and our rights,” he said. “I knew that it was the right thing to do.”
“I was feeling violated,” Johannson said. “I understand she has different political views, but she had no right to do that.”
That morning, Johannson wrote a statement about what happened and reported it to his school. His mom, Jackie Putt, immediately went to the school when she found out.
“I felt like I need to protect my child,” she said.
For the next two days, Putt tried to get information from the school district, but said she didn’t get any information only that the incident was under investigation. That’s when she decided to go to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office and they began their own investigation.
Lt. Ryan Grimsdale explained they are investigating the interaction between the student and bus assistant to determine if there was intent and to find out if she will face any criminal charges.
“I am hopeful,” Putt said. “I’m feeling good about what he did. I love that he knew that was wrong. I’m really proud of him.”
“Stand up for what you believe in,” he said. “Stand up for what’s right.”
The school district released a statement about the incident:
“The District is aware of the family’s allegation, we take it very seriously, and we are currently gathering all of the facts as part of our investigation. To protect the integrity of the investigation, we cannot comment beyond that.”