HAMILTON COUNTY, FL- Did you hear the story about the student who was beaten up on a school bus for wearing a Bernie Sanders cap? How about a Joe Biden hat? Corey Booker? Neither did we.
We did, however hear about a 14-year-old Florida teen, who committed the crime of wearing a Trump 2020 hat to school. And now five students have been arrested in conjunction with the attack.
In a viral video that lasted 21 seconds, two girls and three boys are seen repeatedly punching the teen as other students look on and scream in the background.
My attorney @FoyeWalkerPA said it's okay to release the video, 😡warning graphic 😡 keep in mind this is only the first 21 seconds of the video…please RT to have these two girls and 3 boys held accountable. pic.twitter.com/8oEz79K2xN
— American Diaries (@AmericanDiaries) December 12, 2019
The video was viewed by nearly 4 million people in less than 24 hours. In the video, a female is clearly the main aggressor.
The attack occurred on Nov. 21 in Hamilton County, FL.
The teen, whom his mother identified as Tyler, was beaten up for previously wearing the Trump hat that he bought “with his own money” at a flea market a few weeks prior, his mother said.
According to a tweet from mom, “he was proud to wear it. He wore it to school, but due to immediate bullying he put it away & didn’t wear it to school again sadly the damage was already done & was now a target.”
I am sitting in the hospital with my 14 year old kid because he was just jumped by 8 black kids on the school bus, I guess that's what happens when a kid wears a #Trump hat to school. And who's the violent ones again? Earlier today they poured milk all over his head. pic.twitter.com/fS3BfBJnOa
— American Diaries (@AmericanDiaries) November 21, 2019
His mother claimed that after the initial incident, he was “steadily” bullied on the bus, getting tripped and verbally abused. The harassment culminated in the assault on the bus, which was so severe that it required a hospital visit.
“The nurse noted there are bruises on his arm that were older along with his new injuries,” the boy’s mother said.
Her comments were made in a tweet last month.
“He didn’t tell us about the bullying, but they took it to a new level yesterday and we are just now learning what he was going through.”
Tyler’s mother continued that she believed the attack was “a hate crime and attempted murder according to the state of Florida since it was over three kids that jumped him, and these kids are older and larger.”
The five students were subsequently charged with misdemeanor battery, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s office.
School superintendent Rex Mitchell, in a letter released on Friday, said that the district’s investigation showed “no evidence” that the student was wearing “a political hat showing support for President Trump” at the time of the altercation or that his wearing of such apparel on a prior occasion motivated the incident.”
“We do not condone the use of physical force between students,” Mitchell continued. “This was a very unfortunate incident completely unrelated to any political statements or agendas. However, we will continue to evaluate our safety procedures to prevent a future event and ensure the safety of all students in the Hamilton County School District.”
Nice deflection, Mr. Superintendent.
School buses are apparently not a safe place to wear Trump hats.
In March of this year, in Martin County, a 14-year-old student on a school bus enroute to Hidden Oaks Middle School had his “Make America Great” hat grabbed off his head by a bus aide.
The student, Gunnar Johannson, told media at the time that he wore the hat to school that day “to show my pride in Trump America” after the school had lifted its hat policy for students if they made a donation to the March of Dimes.
Surveillance video showed the bus aide yelling at Gunnar to take the hat off, then took it off his head.
“Boy, if you don’t take that hat off this bus…take it off. Take that hat off…take that had off…,” the bus aide is heard saying.
The aide has not been identified.
“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,” Johannsen said.
Johannsen’s mother, Jackie Putt, went to the school after Gunnar texted her and told her what was going on.
“I immediately went to the school. I needed to know what my son just went through and what she did to my son,” Putt said. She said she believes the bus aide’s actions were politically motivated.
Putt filed a police report after she learned that the school district would not allow her to view the video until they had completed their investigation.
“The district is aware of the family’s allegations. We’re taking it very seriously. We’re in the process of gathering all the facts right now,” said the Director of Safety and Security for the Martin County School District, Frank Frangella.
It was later announced that the bus aide will not face charges for assaulting the student. One wonders if the student was wearing a Bernie hat and was assaulted by a right-leaning bus aide if the result would have been the same.
We also recently reported about a 16-year-old high school student in Michigan, who had a male teacher “aggressively” rip a Woman for Trump pin off her jacket.
Sadie Earegood, a junior said that the teacher, Paul Kato “took both hands and unlatched the pin from my jacket and put it upside down on his shirt and said it belongs upside down.”
“I was just really shocked that a teacher would especially do that,” she said. “He’s talking about the ‘Women for Trump’ pin and I said, ‘that’s fine you don’t have to like it, we can have our opinions’.”
Earegood said that the assault occurred during school hours on December 5.
According to WILX News 10, Earegood and her family have filed a complaint with the police over the incident.
“I made a criminal assault and larceny report against the teacher,” said Capi Earegood.
She’s Sadie’s mother.
“He had no right to put his hands on my child over a pin or anything else. The first amendment gives everyone the right to express their freedom of speech. No one should get that upset about someone wearing a political pin.”
Welcome to 2019, Mrs. Earegood.
Mason Police Chief Don Hanson confirmed that the department is investigating the matter.
For her part, Sadie said that she wants people to know that she will continue to express her political views, whether they are popular or not.
“I just want him to know that it’s not okay to do that. I want this to be a learning experience for other teachers, and I’m not going to stop wearing my political stuff.”
Well done Sadie.
Law Enforcement Today will follow this story to see if the outcome is different than the one in Florida. Stay tuned.
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