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Principal Replaced After Telling Student to Take Off Trump Jersey at ‘Patriotic’ Football Game

Neetu Chandak 

Administrators replaced a North Carolina high school principal after she told a student to take off his Trump jersey at a patriotic-themed football game.

Cindy Gordon, who was principal at Harnett Central High School, asked Matthew Collins, 18, to remove the jersey because it was political, WRAL reported Friday. The front of the jersey read “USA” in red, white, and blue and the back had the word “Trump” with the number “45” below.

Gordon informed Collins that some parents were complaining about the shirt and he had to take it off in order to stay at the game, the boy’s father, Michael Collins, told WRAL. Matthew Collins left the game.

Students had been encouraged to dress patriotically for the school’s football game Oct. 5, ABC11 reported.

“As long as the expression does not disrupt, and is not reasonably expected to disrupt, the educational mission of the school system, these rights include wearing clothing expressing political messages or supporting political candidates,” Harnett County School District spokeswoman Natalie Ferrell said.

Michael Collins, who is a registered Democrat, said his son’s shirt was not meant to promote President Donald Trump.

“We’re not promoting Donald Trump,” Collins told ABC11. “He’s our president. Again you’ve got to respect your president.”

Catherine Jones, principal at Harnett Primary School, was named as Gordon’s replacement, according to a press release Friday from the county schools.

“Again, we want to emphasize that Harnett County Schools supports and affirms students’ rights to express themselves—including wearing clothing expressing political messages or supporting political candidates or officeholders—in ways that are not expected to disrupt school or school events,” the statement from the school district said.

Gordon’s employment status was not specified.

“We’re very pleased that the school board and the county were quick to resolve the issue,” attorney Tony Buzzard, representing the Collins family, told The News & Observer.

The Harnett County School District did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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