A 12-year-old middle schooler at a Vanguard School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was booted from school Monday after officials said he couldn’t have a revolutionary-era style Gadsden flag patch on his backpack because it’s racist.
Libertas Institute president Connor Boyack posted a three-plus minute video of the Monday scolding of the student identified only as Jaiden as he was told he couldn’t wear the patch on his book bag “due to is origins with slavery and slave trade,” the outlet OutKick reported.
The school’s director said via email the patch was “disruptive to the classroom environment,” Boyack wrote.
Meanwhile, the youngster’s mom, not pictured in the video clip, sounded confused by the charter school’s stance, as her son politely listened to the exchange.
Asking what would happen if Jaiden didn’t remove the patch, the staffer told the mom: “The bag can’t go back if it’s got the patch on it, ’cause we can’t have that in and around other kids.”
Jaiden’s mom pushed back, however.
“Yeah it has nothing to do with slavery, that’s like the revolutionary war patch that was displayed when they were fighting the British,” she pointed out, asking if the school staffer might have mistaken it for the Confederate Flag.
The administrator responded, “I am here to enforce the policy that was provided by the district and definitely, you have every right not to agree with it.”
The staff member also said she’d put Jaiden’s mother in touch with Jeff Yocum, the school’s director of operations.
Boyack obtained images of the email correspondence between Yocum and Jaiden’s mother after her meeting at the school and shared them on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Yocum cited reports from mainstream news outlets that linked the Gadsden flag to racism because it was created by a slaveowner and associated with other displays of intolerance, according to Fox News.
Yocum also cited The Conversation, which featured a quote from Iowa State University graphic design scholar Paul Bruski, who said: “Because of its creator’s history and because it is commonly flown alongside ‘Trump 2020’ flags, the Confederate battle flag and other white-supremacist flags, some may now see the Gadsden flag as a symbol of intolerance and hate — or even racism.”
And he shared a Washington Post article detailing a case involving the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission mandating the U.S. Postal Service to investigate a complaint made by one of its employees. The employee claimed that a coworker wearing the Gadsden flag hat to work amounted to racial discrimination, Fox reported.
In another Tuesday posting on X, Boyack reported the youngster decided to go back to school that day — keeping his badge in place, allegedly vowing to do a “sit-in if necessary to protest.”
That post was followed by one in which the school announced “due to unforeseen circumstances, Junior High Back-to-School Night” planned for Tuesday night was postponed.
The online response to the student’s predicament was swift — with one person posting a template for the outrage over a teacher who wouldn’t concede the flag was not referencing the Civil War, but rather the American Revolution.
In another response, a poster showed off a “Don’t Tread On Jaiden” version of the Gadsden flag.
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