The 16-year-old boy's mother has now raised concerns about Colusa High School's unclear guidelines since it switched to distance learning.
Images Source: Facebook/Cheryl Ackerly Ebner (Representative)
A high school student was threatened to be kicked out of a virtual Chemistry class unless he removed a "Trump 2020" campaign flag pinned in the back of his bedroom from the camera's view. The 16-year-old boy's mother Tiffany recently spoke to ABC10 about the encounter between her son and a teacher in Colusa High School. She revealed that her son, who is currently participating in distance learning, waved at the camera and left the Zoom Chemistry class before his teacher could remove him. "I made it very clear that when he repositioned the camera, either the flag needed to be removed or not in the background or she was kicking him out, and she gave him 15 seconds," Tiffany added.
If teachers aren’t allowed to bring politics into the classroom why should students be able to? I would imagine this sign in today’s political climate could be very disruptive and make it difficult to keep a class on track without a heated discussion.— Mike Walters (@walters_mw236) September 24, 2020
Tiffany revealed that her son was working from his bedroom and that the poster was put up in the back of his room. "Since school has begun, my son has had this Trump flag hanging in his background," she said, according to CBS13. As the teacher began the countdown, another student in the online classroom began recording the confrontation. The teen's mother said, "At first I was furious," adding that the teacher has since apologized for the behavior. "She is a new teacher and it’s a mistake. There hasn’t been any guidance given to her as a teacher for the school," she continued.
So sorry Teacher!! It’s called freedom!!— Doug (@Doug61406292) September 27, 2020
Tiffany, who requested not to reveal her surname for the privacy of her son, said that her son has not been punished for the incident but noted that there were concerns surrounding the Colusa High School’s policies ever since the school switched to distance learning in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Tiffany did not blame the teacher for the uncomfortable incident but held the school responsible for not providing precise guidelines. "And he flat out told me no. We’ve just not been given any guidance," shared the mother.
Why is she whining? She gets to teach school and drink wine at the same time.— Offabtntrk (@offabtntrk) September 27, 2020
"With the distance learning, we are all forced to do because of the new color chart, the school district has not addressed the students' rights in their own home to the teachers or to us as parents," she said. Furthermore, she called for the school to provide clear guidelines such as 'where students should be seated' or 'what they can show in the background' so that no other student experienced what her son had to. The lack of guidelines from the Colusa High School had the mother frustrated, as she simply wanted the school authorities to at least tell parents like herself what was expected of them.
who TF do schools think they are anymore? its my house. stay TF out of telling me what i can and cannot do in my house. and we pay these people taxes??? enough is enough. #MAGA— Rob Secoolish (@RobSecoolish) September 24, 2020
The outlet had reached out to the Colusa High School, the Colusa Unified School District (Colusa USD), as well as the Colusa County Office of Education, but they did not provide an immediate response. However, an employee of the Colusa High School did refer ABC10 to its code of conduct when they were looking for a comment. "The Governing Board believes that free inquiry and exchange of ideas are essential parts of a democratic education. The Board respects students’ rights to express ideas and opinions, take stands on issues, and support causes, even when such speech is controversial or unpopular," reads the student handbook of the Colusa Unified School District.
Wow. It use to take a lot more than that for me to get teachers to be willing to kick me out of their boring classes. 🤣— Richard Burgess (@NC_Bushcraft) September 24, 2020
"Students shall have the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press including, but not limited to, the use of bulletin boards; the distribution of printed materials or petitions; the wearing of buttons, badges, or insignia, and the right of expression in official publication," it states, according to The Daily Wire. "Student expression on school or Internet websites and online media shall generally be afforded the same protections as in print media. Students’ freedom of expression shall be limited only as allowed by Education Code 48707, 48950, and other applicable state and federal laws." While it addresses the free speech rules for on and off-campus as well as "online media", it does not refer to distance learning explicitly.