High school student told to remove Trump flag from wall during virtual class

Published: Oct. 18, 2020 at 4:32 AM CDT
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TOMS RIVER, N.J. (News 12) - A New Jersey high school student wants an apology after he claims two teachers asked him to remove a flag supporting President Donald Trump from his wall during online classes.

Anthony Ribeiro, a 17-year-old student at Toms River High School North, says he logged into chemistry class last week from home when the Trump 2020 flag on the wall behind him quickly became a problem. The junior says his teacher asked to him remove the flag.

“He said, ‘If you’re not gonna take it down, it’s unacceptable, and I’m gonna have to ask you to leave the class for today.’ At that point, I waved goodbye, and I was out of the class,” Ribeiro said.

Ribeiro says the same thing happened in a different class the next day, but that time, he took the flag down, worrying the incident could affect his grades.

“If I had to do it again, I probably wouldn’t have because it’s what I stand for,” he said.

The family says the school district agreed with them that the teachers' requests the flag be taken down was wrong. Now, they want an apology.

“To me, it’s not about politics. It’s about something in our home that we had, and my son was taken away from his studies for it. It’s very upsetting to me and very frustrating that this teacher would do that,” said Ribeiro’s mother, Tara Jost.

The school district says it is handling the matter internally and is working with all parties involved to resolve the issue.

“I really just want it to not happen again because it is horrible. For somebody to be suppressed and to feel negated because she or he doesn’t follow the same ideas that another person does,” Ribeiro said.

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