This is the moment a Florida teenager was told to remove his Make America Great Again cap before a school aide allegedly removed the item from his head for him when he didn’t comply.
Gunnar Johansson, 14, said students at his Hidden Oaks Middle School were allowed to wear a hat on Tuesday.
In a surveillance video clip released by police after the teenager’s mother reported the incident, a bus aide tells him: ‘Boy, if you don’t take that hat off this bus… take it off.’
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Police were investigating a recorded incident where a school bus aide allegedly removed a boy’s cap after he refused to take it off
As she repeatedly orders him to remove the cap, the youngster is heard challenging the helper, ‘Why? Already?’
When another student seemingly chimes in him she tells them: ‘Calm down and mind your business.’
When she asks him if he wants her to report his behavior he replies, ‘yes’ then asks: ‘I’m in trouble for that? Are you serious?’
She says ‘yes’ and persists in telling Johansson to put the cap in his backpack: ‘Don’t put that back on.’
He told WPTV he chose that particular attire for his day of classes ‘to show my pride in Trump America’.
Gunnar Johansson, 14, said a school aide told him to remove his Make America Great Again cap Tuesday during a Florida school bus ride
Johansson says he didn’t understand why he was being ordered to take off the headgear with a slogan often used by President Donald Trump.
‘I was really confused, I was like “I can’t wear this?”, he told the news station in an interview. The child alleges she pulled the cap off after he dared her to report him for not following her instructions.
‘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,’ the teen recalled during the TV chat.
Although he says he continued the journey without wearing his beloved cap, he told his mother about the incident ASAP when he joined classmates in texting their respective parents during the ride.
Noting other students wearing hats weren’t asked to remove theirs, it outraged Johansson’s mother so much she marched down to the school immediately after hearing from Johansson’s brother and others who attend the school.
‘I needed to know what my son just went through and what she did to my son,’ Jackie Putt proclaimed in the family’s TV appearance.
She said she got her son to write down everything he went through during the incident after speaking to the school principal who didn’t make the recording immediately available to her because the school hadn’t finished investigating.
Johansson said he chose that attire for his day of classes ‘to show my pride in Trump America’
The parent then requested cops launch an investigation in order to make the recording available.
‘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,’ Martin County School District Director of Safety and Security, Frank Frangella, said.
But now it’s something law enforcement is spending time probing.
‘The crux of our investigation will be the interaction directly, physically with the child and how that panned out,’ Martin County Lieutenant Ryan Grimsdale said.
The department said they’d be interviewing witnesses and analysing the video.
Johansson told law enforcement she told him to ‘never wear that nonsense on this bus again’.
Johansson and witnesses text their parents about the incident, as did his brother (right)
Jackie Putt said in the TV appearance about her reason for marching to school and getting police involved: ‘I needed to know what my son just went through and what she did to my son’
Putt said she believed her son being asked to take the hat off was politically motivated. ‘We all have a right to who we want to vote for, this is America,’ she said.
Johansson said other students wore Make America Great Again hats that day.
Children were allowed to wear hats on the condition they donated to mother and baby organization March of Dimes. There’s no policy about wearing attire with political messages at the school.
TCPalm.com said the bus aide told police: ‘I was personally offended…I totally regret doing this.’
The police report might have come as a shock for the helper as she wrote in a witness statement: ‘I do not have a problem with Gunnar. We have always gotten along, and I am sorry for what I did and I hope he forgives me.’
Johansson said she hadn’t been seen on the bus since Tuesday.
School district spokeswoman Dianne Falls said Friday: ‘To protect the integrity of the investigation, we cannot comment beyond that.’
Aide said she was ‘personally offended’ but asked for child’s forgiveness in a handwritten note
Martin County School District Director of Safety and Security, Frank Frangella, said they were taking allegations ‘very seriously’