Thursday 28 March 2019

School bus aide receives suspension after removing teen's MAGA hat. Parents, student offer classy response.

A 14-year-old Florida boy got a surprise after a bus aide yanked the teen's "Make America Great Again" hat off his head and refused to return it.
The bus aide is being punished for her actions, but the boy and his family have publicly forgiven her.

What are the details?

The incident took place before school last week.
The teen, Gunnar Johansson, was riding the bus to school in Martin County when bus aide Delores Matheny approached him and demanded several times that he take off the hat.
The teen was able to wear the hat to school if they participated in the school's March of Dimes donation event, and he said that he chose that particular hat in question "to show [his] pride in Trump America."
Surveillance footage of the incident catches Matheny saying, "Boy, if you don't take that hat off this bus … take it off. Take that hat off … take that hat off."
When the teen refused to take off the hat, Mathey took it off for him.
"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," the teen said. His parents discovered what transpired on the bus later in the day, and his mother opted to file a police report.
The school district decided to suspend Matheny for misconduct, and without pay for four days, in connection with the incident.
Initially, the Martin County Sheriff's Office investigated the incident as a crime.
On Thursday, the state attorney's office announced that Matheny will not face charges in connection with the altercation.
Matheny later said that she was "personally offended" by the hat, but she "totally [regretted] doing this." 
In a statement, Mathey said, "I do not have a problem with Gunnar. We have always gotten along, and I am sorry for what I did and I hope he forgives me."

What did the child's parents say?

The teen's parents, Michael and Jackie Putt, said they aren't satisfied with the school's actions against Matheny, and said that they were concerned over the district's investigation and punishment.
According to WPTV-TV, the Putts felt that the district should have investigated the incident as "harassment and political discrimination," and not "misconduct."
Michael told the station, "They have a rule that says you can't discriminate or harass a child based on political beliefs. And that's what happened. And that's not what the motion brought forward that was approved today."
Jackie agreed, and said that she didn't feel that the district listened to their grievances.
"I don't feel today that our voice was heard," she said. "I think it would be good if they had a position for [Matheny] that was not around the children."
The Putts added that they do, however, forgive Matheny for the incident.
"I just want to make it really clear that we forgive Delores Matheny," Jackie said. "We forgive, and Gunnar forgives."

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