On Friday, Harnett County Schools announced that Harnett Central High School’s principal, Cindy Gordon, was going to be replaced by Catherine Jones, the principal of Harnett Primary.
This announcement came a week after Gordon asked a student to remove his Trump baseball jersey at a patriotic-theme football game.
The student, 18-year-old Matthew Collins, was wearing the jersey after students were encouraged to wear patriotic clothing to the game. The jersey was white, red, and blue, with the front featuring the words “USA” and the Statue of Liberty’s torch. The back had the words “Trump” and the number 45.
Mike Collins, Matthew’s father, said that his son was “humiliated” and that he had gotten the jersey as a present from a family friend.
He said, “We don’t want any kids violated. We don’t want to see kids embarrassed over something like this. Matthew] was not disrespectful. He was not acting in a manner that would cause attention to him.”
Collins, a registered Democrat, maintained that his son’s jersey was not disruptive.
He told WTVD, “We’re not promoting Donald Trump. He’s our president. Again you’ve got to respect your president. I can assure you that there was nothing about this shirt that was disruptive. I think we should stand up for our rights.”
The school district stated that Gordon was removed from her position after they reviewed of the incident.
“We want to emphasize that Harnett County Schools supports and affirms students’ rights to express themselves – including wearing clothing expressing political messages or supporting political candidates or officeholders – in ways that are not expected to disrupt school or school events,” the district stated in a news release.