Colorado Student Kicked Out of Class Monday For Having Gadsden Flag Patch on Backpack, Allowed Back With Patch on Tuesday

On Monday, a Colorado Springs charter school removed a middle school student from class for having a Gadsden Flag patch on his backpack, alleging falsely that the patch has “origins with slavery.”

A video circulating on X, formerly known as Twitter, features a Vanguard School administrator explaining to 12-year-old Jaiden and his mother why the boy was pulled from class. The confrontation has gone viral, with the Colorado governor weighing in against the school, and the mother and son invited to appear on Fox News’ Hannity Tuesday night. Due to the negative publicity, the boy was allowed to have the patch in place when he returned to school on Tuesday.

“So the reason that they do not want the flag—the reason we do not want the flag displayed—is due to its origins with slavery, and slave trade,” the school administrator told Jaiden and his mom on Monday.

“The Gadsden Flag?” the surprised mother responded, to which the administrator replied, “The ‘Don’t Tread on Me.’”

The mother asked what would happen if Jaiden, who is running for student office, refused to remove the patch and the staffer answered flatly: “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 mother shot back: “Yeah it has nothing to do with slavery, that’s like the revolutionary war patch that was displayed when they were fighting the British.” She suggested that the educator was perhaps mistaking the Gadsden Flag for the Confederate Flag.

The administrator 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.”

The mother and son pointed out that other Vanguard kids are allowed to have other various patches on their backpacks.

The staff member then claimed she would put Jaiden’s mother in touch with Jeff Yocum, The Vanguard School’s Director of Operations, “and then he can refer you to our person at the district because like I said, we’re following district policy is what we’re doing.”

“The last thing we want to do is take him out of class,” the woman said.

“Yeah me too,” Jaiden’s mom shot back. “He takes his classes seriously,” she added, noting that her son is an Honor Roll student who strives for straight As.

“He intends to do that right now but it’s hard to when he’s missing class for this,” the mother complained.

“I understand that!” the administrator replied defensively.

“We teach him to stick up for his beliefs and you’re going over the Revolution for 7th grade. I mean, the founding fathers stood up for what they believed in against unjust laws. This is unjust,” the mother stated.

“Okay, like I said, we’re upholding a policy that was provided to us which we have to uphold,” the administrator responded weakly.

As reported by Fox News, Libertas Institute President Connor Boyack obtained images of the email correspondence between Yocum and Jaiden’s mother, and shared them on X. Boyack is the author of 40 books, 

including a series that is popular with young readers. Jaiden is apparently an avid fan.

According to Boyack, Yocum, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, told Jaiden’s mother that the patch was “disruptive to the classroom environment.” He said that the boy was welcome to return to class on Tuesday but only if he removed the patch.

As the emails revealed, Yocum cited reports from mainstream news outlets which linked the Gadsden Flag to racism because it was created by a slaveowner and associated with other displays of intolerance.

Yocum cited outlet The Conversation, which featured a quote from Iowa State University graphic design scholar Paul Bruski, who said, “Because of its creator’s history and because it is commonly flown alongside ‘Trump 2020’ flags, the Confederate battle flag and other white-supremacist flags, some may now see the Gadsden flag as a symbol of intolerance and hate – or even racism.”

Yocum also shared a Washington Post article  detailing a case involving the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission mandating the U.S. Postal Service to investigate a complaint made by one of its employees. The employee claimed that coworker wearing a Gadsden Flag hat to work amounted to racial discrimination.

The EEOC never made any judgment on whether racial discrimination came from the flag in that specific case, and on its website, claimed it “did not find that the Gadsden Flag in fact is a racist symbol.”

However, it claimed that the flag has been “interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts.”

The regime’s disfavor of the Gadsden Flag stems from its popularity with conservative “Tea Party” protesters during the early years of the Obama administration.

To justify his decision to remove Jaiden from class, Yocum sent the boy’s mother a list of “Unacceptable Items” that are not allowed at the Vanguard School, an email shared by Boyack shows. Yocum highlighted symbols that “Refer to drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or weapons” as somehow applying to the Gadsden Flag.

According to Boyack, Jaiden asked his mom to take him to a news station to get the word out, but the NBC affiliate declined to interview the boy.

Fox News, however, is interested and the boy and his mother will reportedly be on Fox News’s “Hannity” tonight.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis, meanwhile, came down on the side of Jaiden, writing on X: “Obviously 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.”

Boyack reported Tuesday that Jaiden went to school “with his patch will in place” and ready to “do a sit-in if necessary to protest.”

“Two law firms have stepped forward to assist as necessary to fight the viewpoint discrimination,” Boyack added.

The school, according to Boyack, cancelled its “Back-to-School-Night” due to “unforeseen circumstances.”

According to Boyack, nobody said anything about Jaiden’s patch on Tuesday.

“Nice to know that millions of Americans are on his side and bringing the heat to this absurd school administration and their stupid policy,” he said. “He’s a happy kid and I’m proud that he stood up for himself.”


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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Notable Replies

    1. Even 12 year olds have constitutional rights to freedom of speech;
    2. Who was the “offended” snowflake; and,
    3. Why are you keeping your kid in this pit of indoctrination?

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