Republicans ask AG to investigate ‘MAGA’ controversy at Valley school

Mar 4, 2019, 9:23 PM
(KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross)...
(KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross)
(KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross)

PHOENIX — Arizona House Republicans sent a letter to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Monday, asking him to investigate “possible free speech violations” at a Valley high school after some students wearing pro-President Donald Trump attire were disciplined.

Perry High School, near Queen Creek Road and Val Vista Drive in Gilbert, made headlines Friday when students who wore clothes and carried a banner with Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” were told to leave campus after school.

School officials said the decision was not political, and students were instead reprimanded for creating a safety concern on campus.

“While school administrators have said that students were not disciplined for expressing their viewpoints, parents of the students in question say that they were told that the clothing was ‘offensive, and that the kids were being disrespectful by wearing it,'” the letter stated.

“Given that the free speech of all U.S. citizens is guaranteed in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, we ask that you, as the state’s chief legal officer, examine the facts of this case to ensure that the rights of these students were not infringed upon.”

The letter also mentioned Chandler Unified School District’s hiring of a Director of Equity and Inclusion and its $2 million purchase of “diversity, equity and inclusion curriculum.”

“We ask you to ensure that these equity and inclusion programs truly espouse tolerance for all viewpoints, including Christianity and conservatism,” the letter stated.

The letter was signed by 26 of the House’s 31 Republicans.

A small group of parents and students protested outside of the high school Monday morning.

Jennifer Farris, the parent of one of the students disciplined, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News that she hoped Brnovich would look into the incident.

She said if the attire was instead pro-President Barack Obama or pro-President George Bush, “I don’t think it would have been made into the big deal that it was.”

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Republicans ask AG to investigate ‘MAGA’ controversy at Valley school