An Arizona high school student who was suspended for wearing “Make America Great Again” attire was back in class Thursday, but the dispute isn’t over.
The non-profit legal group defending Logan Jones, the Alliance Defending Freedom, said Perry High School officials refuse to expunge the 10-day suspension from Jones’ record.
“Public schools have a duty to respect the legitimate free expression of students that the First Amendment guarantees to them,” said ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer.
“While it’s good that the school is allowing Logan to return to school, it isn’t acceptable that this unjust suspension will remain on her record,” he said.
“As we continue discussions with the school, we are also consulting with Logan and her mother to determine what our next steps will be if the school doesn’t do the right thing and remove the suspension.”
Jones was suspended after she and a friend wore MAGA sweatshirts and displayed a pro-Trump banner after school hours on “Party in the USA Day.”
It was part of the school’s “Spirit week.”
The two were in an outdoor common area of campus when a “school resource officer” ordered them to leave.
The students were complying when the officer followed them, took photographs and then demanded Jones’ name.
She declined and the officer ordered her to meet with vice principal Heather Patterson.
Logan called her mother, who arrived within minutes. While Patterson was speaking with Jones’ mother, Principal Dan Serrano came out of his office.
“I am tired of hearing this. Logan Jones you are suspended for 10 days. Get off of school property,” the principal said, according to ADF.
ADF promptly dispatched a letter to the school, requesting that the suspension be dropped, records be expunged and Logan be allowed back on campus.
“Here, the school punished Logan for wearing a shirt and holding a flag after school hours that expressed support for the current president of the United States,” the letter said. “This is blatant viewpoint discrimination.
“There is ample evidence to establish that you imposed the suspension against Logan based on a disagreement with the viewpoint of Logan’s message. Multiple videos demonstrate the hostility that school officials displayed toward the messages expressing support for President Trump and his MAGA slogan. And it is our understanding that other students have been punished as well for expressing similar viewpoints.”
That hostility, the letter said, “violates the First Amendment.”
“Today’s students will be tomorrow’s legislators, judges, educators, and voters,” Langhofer said. “That’s why it’s so important that public schools demonstrate the First Amendment values they are supposed to be teaching to students.”