Students from the Hidden Oaks Middle School got the perk of being allowed to wear hats to school if they made a donation to the March of Dimes.
But 14 year old Gunnar Johansson’s perk turned out to be an unpleasant experience when he stepped onto the school bus.
A bus aide who has not yet been identified immediately began telling at him to take off his hat.
He was wearing a blue hat that said, “Trump, Make America Great Again.”
Gunnar said he was wearing it “to show my pride in Trump, America.”
But the bus aide was clearly triggered by the hat, not by anything the boy did.
LISTEN TO THIS: A Martin County school bus aide is under investigation for yelling at a student then grabbing his #Trump #MAGA hat off of his head for 'hat day' at school. The school does not have clear policies against wearing political attire. @WPTV pic.twitter.com/NjxvgZKY3W
— Meghan McRoberts (@MeghanWPTV) March 8, 2019
“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.
“I was really confused, I was like ‘I can’t wear this?’ “Johansson said.
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.
He continued the bus ride without wearing his hat, though other students wearing hats were allowed to keep wearing them.
Students on the bus, including Gunnar’s brother, then texted their parents and Gunnar’s mother to tell them what was going on.
His mother, Jackie Putt, said she believed the aide’s actions were politically motivated.
Police are now investigating to determine if there was any crime and if they want to file charges for her pulling the hat off the boy’s head. They will decide by next week if charges are warranted.
The school is also looking into the matter, said Frank Frangella, Director of Safety and Security for the Martic County School District.
The school policy does not forbid political clothing. Gunnar and other students had been allowed to wear the hats in the school.
The aide has not been back on the bus since the incident.
Putt said she is proud of how her son handled the incident.
“We all have a right to who we want to vote for, this is America,” Putt said.
“Stand up for what you believe in,” said Johansson.