Three freshmen attending William H. Hall High School in West Hartford, Connecticut attended their English 9 class wearing red baseball hats with letters reading “Make America Great Again”, the trademark slogan for United States President Donald J. Trump.
According to Ms. Martin, who was teaching the class, the three students “…sat down out of their assigned seats in the back of the room, put their feet on the desks, then continued to fold their arms across their chest.”
The teacher of the class proceeded to ask the three young students to return to their assigned seats, and in response all three students “…did not return to their assigned seats.” Ms. Martin allowed the students to keep their hats on for the remainder of the period, but at the end of the class made an announcement stating “…after the disruption, no more hats would be allowed.”
Reactions from the class were mixed. Some students thanked the teacher for this piece of news, while others tried to further the discussion about the hats, and those students were directed to go to their assistant principal with any further questions.
The students acknowledge there may have been people who thought wearing the hats was an attempt at making a statement or causing a scene, but insisted that wasn’t the case. “Our goal wasn’t to wear it just to make people angry”, said Jimmy Malone, one of the students who wore the hats. “We all wore hats for something we believe in”.
The students feel targeted, feeling like the decision to ban hats in class was directed at them. Malone said he “…used to wear a hat every day,” and it had never been a problem to his teacher. In the days following this incident, the three students continued to wear their hats throughout school, and took them off during their English class without protest.