The Union Leader reports a New Hampshire high school principal has apologized for telling a freshman student at Epping High School that she had to remove a "Trump Make America Great Again" tee shirt on "American Pride" day last week because, according to the principal, President Trump is a controversial president and her attire might offend other students. He now says that was wrong of him to do so and hopes to correct the situation.
“I thought for America Day it would be OK and there wouldn’t be an issue,” Mackenzie Ciretta told the media about her shirt.
But, her outfit that day "resulted in her being called to the principal’s office. Ciretta said she was told by Epping High School Principal Brian Ernest that she wasn’t in trouble, but that she needed to find a different shirt."
Ciretta asked what would happen if she did not remove the shirt, and Ernest told her she would be forced to separate from the other students. Her parents at the time blasted the principal for his actions.
"I think it’s a good time for people to stop and reflect, ‘Am I teaching my child to be respectful of other people’s opinions?’ In my opinion the school shouldn’t be put in that position,” Ciretta's mom said.
"The underlying issue, she said, is that adults aren’t practicing tolerance and respect, so neither are children," the Union Leader reports.
“Is censorship the answer or talking about it? I thought it was the wrong way out,” her dad said of the situation.
School board Chairman Dave Mylott said he personally believed the decision was very wrong and said it would be addressed at the next school board meeting on April 18th.
On Friday, Ernest issued the following letter saying, "I have worked in the Epping School District for the past five years. During this time, I have always promoted tolerance, acceptance, diversity and civility. Since the event of April 8th there has been a multitude of responses, some of which have fact-based information and other responses less factual. I have always been respectful and sincere in my approach to promote civil discourse and free speech/expression. I want our students to be free thinkers and be able to express their opinions in a respectful manner."
“We have begun to draft a plan to move forward to promote civil discourse and diversity in our schools. In retrospect, I want to fully acknowledge my error in judgement and sincerely apologize if my actions were misinterpreted and offended anyone. That was never my intention,” he added.