Georgia school forced boy to change his ‘Fake News Network’ shirt before CNN field trip
Two Georgia elected officials are fighting back after their 7th grader son’s school refused to allow him to wear a “Fake News Network” shirt on a field trip to visit CNN last week.
Nancy Jester, a county commissioner, and Stan Jester, a member of the local school board, said the “FNN” shirt was their son Jaxon’s idea.
The parents said that their son’s First Amendment right was violated by the teacher and Cedar Grove High School in Dekalb.
“This year when the CNN tour was announced, my seventh-grade son Jaxon asked me if he could purchase an FNN-Fake News Network shirt to wear for his field trip,” Stan Jester wrote in his blog. “As an advocate for the First Amendment, I agreed to his request.”
The post continued on to say that Jaxon’s “mother cautioned him that he might cause a controversy and needed to be prepared for that and he was fully aware of the implications of his decision and made the affirmative choice to wear his shirt.”
The angry father also noted that the school had allowed students to take a knee during the national anthem before a playoff game in October, arguing that the would not interfere with their freedom of speech.
“If students should elect to express their free speech rights, we want to create and provide a safe space to do so. The goal is not to interfere with the students’ constitutional right to freedom of speech,” a statement from Cedar Grove High School about students taking a knee read.
While the local media has turned the issue into a debate about whether or not the parents should have allowed Jaxon to wear the shirt at all, Stan Jester maintains that he supports free speech for all — which naturally includes his own son.
“I’m disappointed by the hypocrisy of this decision. Some students are celebrated when they make a controversial display during the National Anthem. My student was forced to remove his shirt because someone didn’t like it. I defend speech and expression, even if I disagree, or it makes me uncomfortable,” Stan Jester wrote.
The school has now apologized to the Jesters, but the parents want them to provide an apology directly to their son.