A student at high school in Waterboro, Maine, was kicked off a virtual class for having a Trump flag in the background. The student claims the teacher violated her right to her own opinion.
On Thursday last week, Mollie Woodbury, a student at Massabesic High School, was kicked out of a math class held on Zoom. The teacher asked her to remove the Trump flag that was on the wall behind her. She told her teacher that it is in her bedroom and it was not offensive.
“It’s never really been an issue, nothing has ever been said about it until the other day,” Woodbury told WKYC.
When she refused to remove the flag, she received a notification that she had been removed from the Zoom meeting by the host.
Mollie Woodbury is a junior at Massabesic High School. She says she was kicked off her Zoom class earlier this week because she had a President Trump flag hanging in the background #NEWSCENTERmaine pic.twitter.com/J2685ysoP3
— Jackie Mundry (@j_mundry) October 4, 2020
“I kinda feel like my right to have my own opinion was taken away by her,” she said.
Her mom, Amanda Morrison, said the event surprised her and was concerned that her daughter was missing class.
“She’s losing her right to learn, it was just uncalled for,” Morrison said.
The mother was proud her teenage daughter was taking an interest in politics. She said it happened due to a civics and government class she’s been taking.
“I love that she’s intrigued in politics because that’s not something that everybody gets into,” the mother said.
According to the district’s superintendent, Larry Malone, both staff and students have the right to express their views on public issues.
However, in some cases, the education setting requires neutrality so that things can go smoothly.
“Whereas educators are pretty familiar with what is and is not appropriate in the traditional classroom, we are all still learning the rules in a virtual environment,” Malone said.
It seems, in this case, the teacher thought a campaign flag is inappropriate. However, there is a possibility the teacher found the flag offensive because they do not support the president.
The situation was resolved, and Woodbury was back in the math class on Friday. However, she said her teacher did not acknowledge her.
“I just don’t really want her to like, hate me or have anything against me because of this,” she said. She hopes the whole situation does not become a problem.