Harnett school principal forces student to remove Trump jersey at patriotic-themed football game

Thursday, October 11, 2018
School censors student's clothing at football game
School principal forces student to remove a jersey with President Trump's name.

ANGIER, N.C. (WTVD) -- Mike Collins is disappointed about how he says his 18-year-old son was treated during a high school football game after wearing a jersey printed with President Donald Trump's name.

"I think any mother or father would feel like I feel," stated Collins.

The theme during Harnett Central High School's football game Friday was to dress patriotically for USA America night.

Collins says his son chose to wear the jersey, which was given to him as a gift by a family friend.

But it appears the high school senior's fashion statement seemed too political for some people in the crowd.

Collins says his son was asked by the school principal to remove the jersey.

He did. Collins said his son felt humiliated and went home.

"We don't want any kids violated. We don't want to see kids embarrassed over something like this," Collins stated. "He was not disrespectful. He was not acting in a manner that would cause attention to him."

The Harnett County school district spokeswoman Natalie Ferrell said in a statement:

"While we cannot comment on specific student issues, the Harnett County Schools supports and affirms students' rights to express themselves. As long as the expression does not disrupt, and is not reasonably expected to disrupt, the educational mission of the school system, these rights include wearing clothing expressing political messages or supporting political candidates."

Collins, who is a registered Democrat, says the school district went too far.

"We're not promoting Donald Trump. He's our president. Again you've got to respect your president. I can assure you that there was nothing about this shirt that was disruptive. I think we should stand up for our rights."

Collins says he is not planning to seek legal action.

But he did consult his attorney, Tony Buzzard, for clarity on the situation.

Collins says several school board members have reached out to him to say they will handle the situation and make things right.