Want to support the president of the United States in the classroom?
Expect to get suspended — at least in Grand Rapids Christian High School.
Four students at Grand Rapids Christian High School were suspended for two days after holding signs supporting President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
The students who were disciplined made signs that read “Trump” and “Build the Wall”. Video the 13 Watchdog team obtained shows the teenagers attempting to pose for pictures in front of a banner “Immigrants are a Blessing Not a Burden.” The video shows a teacher rushing over to stop them after each pulled a piece of paper out of their pockets intending to be signs.
Grand Rapids Christian School Superintendent Thomas DeJonge wrote a note to parents this week indicating the incident happened Friday, March 3, as other students were nearby.
DeJonge said the high school’s social justice group “Love Thy Neighbor” was gathering stories about the positive impact immigrants have had on the lives of fellow students when the students wanted to show the the pro-Trump signs.
After the teacher left the area, we are told an argument ensued between students on both sides of the issue but the incident did not become physical, DeJonge told the 13 Watchdog team.
DeJonge told us over the phone he felt the students interrupting the gathering were disrespectful to other students and felt the four were disrespectful to faculty and staff members.
The 13 Watchdog team asked DeJonge if students are often suspended for being disrespectful in the classroom and we were told a suspension isn’t automatic and is handled on a case-by-case basis.
“The boys did not create havoc by doing what they did,” DeJonge said. “It was what was following where there became a disruption and aggression and disrespect to students and to staff and faculty.”
Three parents and a grandparent of the students involved told the 13 Watchdog team they disagree with DeJonge’s decision.
One parent told us off-camera the students, “were simply trying to support the President of the United States.”
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