The incident that saw a 12-year-old boy kicked out of class for a flag he had stitched onto his bag has gone viral, after teachers claimed the patch was racist and associated with slavery.
According to reports, Jaiden Rodriguez, a student at the Vanguard School in Colorado, was removed from class when staff at the school took umbrage and said the flag in question has its “origins with slavery and the slave trade”.
Jaiden’s backpack was said to be sporting the Gadsden flag, more commonly known as the “Don’t tread on me” flag – after teachers spotted it, the boy was kicked out of class and told he wouldn’t be allowed back in unless he removed the patch.
Not only that, but Jaiden’s mother, Eden, was also called in to the school to discuss the matter.
Video footage of Eden’s talk with one of the teachers has since made its way to the internet, sparking something of a debate as to who is in the right.
The teacher in the video can be heard claiming that the flag on Jaiden’s bag isn’t allowed in the school due to its “origins with slavery and the slave trade”, but Eden Rodriguez counters that the Gadsden flag has its origins in the American War of Independence.
Eden, obviously concerned, went on to question whether the school’s staff were confusing the Gadsden flag for the Confederate flag.
The teacher, though, sticks to her guns, saying: “I am here to enforce the policy that was provided, by the district, and definitely, you have every right to not agree to it.”
Needless to say, the footage has proved to be a major talking point online, with many of the opinion that the school handled the situation in the wrong way.
Jaiden’s mom told News5: “I was like, this is wild that this is happening, is this America?
“I do want him to stand up for his rights and (not) say ‘bow down to the government, it’s been a tough call to just let him do what he wants and say he’s at that age to make his own decisions.”
Facing criticism, Vanguard School released their own statement on August 29, suggesting that the issue with Jaiden’s bag stemmed not from one patch, but several, including a number depicting semi-automatic weapons.
“There has been National media attention on our charter school, the Vanguard School, related to a student having the Gadsden flag on his backpack. Unfortunately, this story is incomplete,” the school’s version of events reads.
“The patch in question was part of half a dozen other patches of semi-automatic weapons. The student has removed the semi-automatic patches.
“As a school district, we will continue to ensure all students and employees can learn and work in a safe and nurturing environment. The student returned to class without incident after removing the patches of semi-automatic weapons from the backpack.
“The Vanguard School and Harrison School District 2 worked in collaboration to resolve this matter.”
As per reports, Jaiden has now been allowed to return to class.
What do you think to this story? Did the school treat Jaiden unfairly in any way? Let us know in the comments section.
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