Jaiden, who attends the Vanguard School in Colorado Springs, Colorado carries a backpack with a Gadsden patch. The controversial patch is a historical American flag with a yellow field depicting a timber rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike. Beneath the rattlesnake are the words "Don't tread on me." It was designed by South Carolina soldier Christopher Gadsden in the mid-1770s.
The school staff went hysterical over the patch and booted the poor boy out of class. They tied the symbol with slavery, citing the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an organization that enforces federal anti-discrimination laws.
According to EEOC, the flag "originated in the Revolutionary War in a non-racial context," but it has "since been sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages."
"The bag can't go back if it's got the patch on it 'cause we can't have that in and around other kids," the school administrator said. But Jaiden's mother was quick to defend her son, claiming that the flag originally came from the American Revolution as a symbol of the 13 colonies' fight against the British Crown. It did not promote slavery. The mother also questioned if the school employee was mistaking it for the Confederate Flag. The staff responded, "'I am here to enforce the policy that was provided by the district and definitely, you have every right not to agree with it."
Author Connor Boyack shared the story and it went viral immediately.
Meet 12yo Jaiden who was kicked out of class yesterday in Colorado Springs for having a Gadsden flag patch, which the school claims has "origins with slavery."
The school's director said via email that the patch was "disruptive to the classroom environment."
Receipts in the ? pic.twitter.com/qQ8jK1zSpR
— Connor Boyack ? (@cboyack) August 29, 2023
Boyack also posted on X that the director claimed that the flag is linked to "hate groups" and referred to an article that quoted a “graphic design scholar,” who suggested that some people now view the Gadsden flag as a symbol of intolerance, hate, or even racism. How absurd is that? "It’s doubtful that graphic designer, scholar or not, will hold up under cross-examination in court. Because that’s likely where this is headed," Revolver News wrote in an article.
Meanwhile, the kid is winning the fight as the Colorado school board voted to allow him to wear the backpack with the patch on school grounds.
"Upon learning of these events today, the Vanguard School Board of Directors called an emergency meeting. From Vanguard's founding, we have proudly supported our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the ordered liberty that all Americans have enjoyed for almost 250 years. The Vanguard School recognizes the historical significance of the Gadsden flag and its place in history. The incident is an occasion for us to reaffirm our deep commitment to classical education in support of these American principles," the school said in a statement that was shared by Rogan O’Handley with X handle name @DC_Draino, captioning the post, "Victory for the First Amendment!"
?BREAKING: Colorado school board votes to allow Jaiden to wear “Don’t Tread on Me” patch on school grounds
Victory for the 1st Amendment! pic.twitter.com/L6IVd5rwkH
— DC_Draino (@DC_Draino) August 30, 2023
In a video shared on X after his ordeal, Jaiden said: "Today was a good day. The kids were really hyped up. They are putting "Don't tread on me" in their locker. Now they like me all of a sudden. But the teachers, on the other hand, I got some dirty looks that's for sure. They are definitely not happy with me."
The kid went back to school with the patch visible on his bag. He said he'd do a sit-in if necessary to protest. He is actually campaigning to be school president, according to Boyack.
Jaiden speaks! He’s so grateful for all the support you’ve all shown. ????? pic.twitter.com/pyW9pzsic2
— Connor Boyack ? (@cboyack) August 30, 2023
Now, two law firms are running after the child so they can represent him should he decide to pursue cases against the school. He also got a lot of attention as media outlets expressed interest in interviewing him. (Related: Appeals court okays pro-lifer’s lawsuit against D.C. government's 'viewpoint discrimination.')
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis tweeted about the incident, disagreeing with the school's initial course of action. "The Gadsden flag is a proud symbol of the American Revolution and an iconic warning to Britain or any government not to violate the liberties of Americans. It appears on popular American medallions and challenge coins through today and Ben Franklin also adopted it to symbolize the union of the 13 colonies. It's a great teaching moment for a history lesson," he said.
Check out CultureWars.news for more stories related to viewpoint discrimination.