FRESNO, Calif. (CBS Local) — A high school student in California claims her school district violated her First Amendment constitutional rights by refusing to allow her to wear a “Make America Great Again” hat on campus.
Maddie Mueller, a senior at Clovis North High School in Fresno, is a member of the conservative activist group Valley Patriots. The group asked their members to wear their MAGA hats on Wednesday, but she said school officials denied her permission.
“How does being a patriot in trying to show pride in your country, how is that inappropriate?” Mueller told CBS affiliate KGPE.
Mueller said she then asked if she could wear any Trump hat with school colors on it, but the district said no, citing the dress code.
“To my knowledge Trump is not a logo it’s a last name. It’s just our president. You can’t really claim that our president is a logo, a sports team, it’s not affiliating with any gang,” she said.
The Clovis Unified School District’s dress code does not specify if political hats or shirts are allowed.
“Our dress code is really about allowing our kids to come to school, to feel safe at school, to feel supported at school and to free of distractions so they can focus on learning.” said CUSD spokesperson Kelly Avants.
Former federal district judge Oliver Wanger said Mueller’s First Amendment right is being stripped, but the district may have the right to do so.
“[If] the hat is something that could invoke violence or invoke controversy, then for the safety of the students the school is within its legal right,” he said.
Mueller says she’s been dress coded repeatedly for wearing t-shirts that say “build the wall.”
“I’m not really caring if I’m offending anybody,” Mueller said. “I’m just showing support for the president and what I believe.”
Mueller said her parents support her mission, but her mom worries that officials “might hold me from graduating if I continue to be vocal and do things like this.”
Mueller also said she has received threats over social media, but that will not stop her from living out her dream of becoming a congresswoman.