EDMOND, Okla. – A high school hallway encounter between a student wearing a MAGA cap and a student who flipped it off his head and ripped a “Trump” banner from his hands is under police investigation.
Kenneth Dwayne Jones, 18, who is black, was issued a municipal court summons for a possible assault and battery offense. He has not been formally charged.
A younger white student was not identified because he is a minor.
Edmond Police said the confrontation occurred Monday at Santa Fe High School in this Oklahoma City suburb. A bystander video of the dispute was given to the police and emailed to the Edmond Sun newspaper.
Police spokeswoman Jenny Wagnon said the city attorney will determine if Jones faces an assault charge.
“Both parties will meet with the city attorney and try to work something out,” she said. “If not, then it is up to the city attorney to file assault charges against the student who is an adult.”
The video shows the students arguing over the MAGA (Make American Great Again) cap and the Trump banner, said Wagnon.
“Take it off or I’ll rip it off,” Jones is heard saying on the video. “Do you want me to rip it off?”
Jones then reaches out and knocks the hat off the other student, and grabbing at the cloth Trump banner. Another student comes between the two, and Jones rips the banner away and throws it on the hallway floor. He then walks away.
The encounter took place during the high school’s Double Wolf Dare Week fundraiser. Students donate a dollar in exchange for a pass to wear headgear during the school day, which is typically not allowed, said Susan Parks Schlepp, school spokeswoman.
“Given that hats were allowed at school yesterday as part of the week-long fundraising events, there was no specific dress code violation,” said Schlepp. “The student’s choice to grab a classmate’s property and knock his hat off did, however, violate the school’s discipline policy.”
Schlepp said school administrators are coordinating with the police to “address the incident with swift and immediate disciplinary action.”
She added: “The school district honors students’ First Amendment rights, but must at the same time be vigilant in teaching and supporting students as they learn how best to respectfully express their opinions.”
James Coburn is a reporter for the Edmond Sun. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.