A group of Missouri middle school students got into a brawl with another student on Feb. 1 because he was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat (video below).
Cellphone video shows the students on a school bus arguing over President Donald Trump’s desire to build a wall. Students can then be seen pushing and throwing what may be punches.
“As a parent it’s so upsetting,” said Christina Cortina, the mother of the 12-year-old boy wearing the Trump hat, reports KMOV. “I feel like my son was made an example of, it was a tricky situation, it was politically charged.”
Parkview School District officials say all of the students involved will be punished, with officials suspending all three students involved — including the boy with the Trump hat.
The school district adds it will also make sure to sit all the students down to peacefully resolve their dispute.
“Upon completion of suspensions, the three students will participate in a restorative mediation process to help learn to resolve their differences in a peaceful and respectful manner,” said the school district.
“We regret that this incident occurred as it does not reflect the positive character we expect from our students. We will continue to work together with students, staff and families to ensure all students learn to treat each other with dignity and respect.”
The suspension upset Cortina, who believes a punishment is unfair and that her son was the victim.
“I saw him being berated and bullied and beat, literally beat, because he feels strongly about the world today,” she explained.
The case is just one of many reflecting tensions among Americans seeping down even into schools.
Reports also indicate pro-Trump supporters bullying others at schools after Trump won the election in 2016, with some of the most common targets being blacks, immigrants and Muslims, The Tennessean reports.
In response to these tensions, some schools have urged parents to step in as role models for unity.
“Unity doesn’t require everyone to think alike or to be alike,” wrote Missouri Rockwood School District in a Nov. 26 Facebook post.
“Instead, unity requires patience and a willingness to understand there will always be perspectives beyond our own, and everyone wants to feel validated in their feelings.”
“We can model and teach kids to think and understand, or we can perpetuate confusion in our world,” the post added. “United we stand, divided we fall.”