by Catherine Smith
Students from the National FFA Organization (Future Farmers of America) at Coldwater High School in Ohio were informed they could not fly Trump flags on their tractors on school grounds. The school has since denied ever threatening the students with suspension should they disobey that order, The Hill reports.
Once a year the FFA kids are allowed to drive their tractors in a parade on school grounds. Prior to the morning parade school leaders were informed in advance that some of the students intended to fly Trump flags on their tractors.
The school district released a statement for participating FFA students, notifying that “once their tractors were on school grounds, as part of the FFA event they were to remove these political decorations,” according to a post on Facebook. The school district’s policy does not allow speech in favor of or against candidates, parties or issues.
“Students in the parade complied with the orders from Coldwater High School, flying their Trump flags for as long as they could before reaching school property, where the flags were willingly removed,” reports The Hill. The kids were also invited to parade at a local tractor dealership.
A video posted by Craig Lefeld, a manager at Kenn-Feld Group in Coldwater shows the parade, with students outside of school grounds, flying their Trump banners along the way.
FFA Students at Coldwater High School in Ohio were told they couldn't fly their Trump Flags on their Tractors.
The school said YOU will be SUSPENDED, and all future FFA activities would be BANNED from the school.
— Derek Utley (@realDerekUtley) March 3, 2020
“The school administration told them they were not allowed to drive their tractors into school with Trump flags on them or they would be suspended and ban all future FFA activities,” said Lefeld, who invited FFA students to begin the parade at a local tractor dealership.
“Just a group of kids standing up for what they believe in,” Lefeld said in the video.
The high school’s Facebook page affirms that “no students were told they would be suspended or that any activities would be canceled in relation to this,” denying Lefeld’s claims. However, TeamTrumpUSA.com published text messages, purportedly from school administrators, that contradict the district’s statement.
“Please remove any political flags, signs, etc. before parking at the school. If you would like to talk to me about this and the possible consequences if you don’t follow this request, please give me a call tonight,” the text message read.
And ended with “I don’t want the FFA program to suffer for years to come because of one event,” the message read.
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Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met, and married an American journalist and moved to D.C from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A in Graphic, Media and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.
Photo “Coldwater High School” by Coldwater High School.