MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA/CNN) – A video shows a school bus aide in Martin County yelling at a student to take off his “Make America Great Again” hat. When he ignored her demands, she reportedly grabbed it off his head.
WPTV reports that the Martin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a school bus aide after an incident at Hidden Oaks Middle School.
Gunnar Johansson, 14, told the news station it was hat day at his school and he decided to wear a Trump, Make America Great Again hat, “to show my pride in Trump America.”
Seconds after boarding his bus to go to school, the bus aide, who has not been identified, asked him to remove his hat.
“Boy, if you don’t take that hat off this bus… take it off. Take that hat off… take that hat off…” the woman is heard saying.
“I was really confused, I was like ‘I can’t wear this?’ “Johansson recalled.
The bus aide also asked the teenager to remove his backpack and continued to tell him to take off the hat.
“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,” Johansson said.
Johansson did not wear his hat for the remainder of the ride, but says other students were allowed to keep their hats on.
His mother, Jackie Putt said she went to the school and spoke to the principal after other parents told her about the incident.
“I needed to know what my son just went through and what she did to my son,” Putt said.
Putt learned she would not be able to see surveillance video of the incident until the school district’s investigation is complete, so she went to police.
WPTV reports Martin County Lieutenant Ryan Grimsdale plans to review the video and interview those involved.
“The crux of our investigation will be the interaction directly, physically with the child and how that panned out,” Grimsdale said.
“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 Frank Frangella, Director of Safety and Security for the Martin County School District.
According to WPTV, the school district does not have a policy banning students from wearing political attire.