Police have launched an investigation after a 16-year-old girl claimed she was assaulted by a teacher for wearing a “Women For Trump” pin.
Sadie Earegood, a student at Mason High School in Michigan, told police and media that a teacher forcibly removed the pin from her shirt against her will during school hours on December 5, News 10 reports.
The 16-year-old junior told News 10 Paul Kato, a teacher at the school, approached her told her he didn’t like the pin.
“I was just really shocked that a teacher especially would do that,” Earegood told News 10. “He’s talking about the ‘Women for Trump’ pin and I said, ‘that’s fine you don’t have to like it, we can have our opinions.’”
Earegood claimed Kato then tried to forcibly remove the pin.
“He grabbed it and I pulled and I tried to push his hand away and he grabbed my shoulder, and just kind of put his hand there, and then he started pulling more and more and I just started backing up,” she said.
After much pulling and tugging the teacher stole the pin and allegedly proceeded to pin it upside down on his own shirt, stating that it “belonged that way.”
“I just want him to know it’s not okay to do that,” said Earegood. “I want this to be a learning experience for other teachers and I’m not going to stop wearing my political stuff.”
Earegood’s mother, Capi Earegood, told the news outlet she has “made a criminal assault and larceny report against the teacher.”
“He had no right to put his hands on my child over a pin or anything else,” she said. “The first amendment gives everyone the right to express their freedom of speech. No one should get that upset about someone wearing a political pin.”
The Mason School District is still investigating the incident and has promised to “take appropriate action” once their investigation is complete. Police later confirmed they have opened an investigation into the alleged assault after also receiving a call about the complaint from school district officials.
“The Mason Police Department has been in contact with a parent(s) of the student,” Mason Police Chief Don Hanson said in a statement.