School Loses It After 7th-Grader Buys Perfect “Fake News” Shirt for CNN Field Trip
Oh come on now! This is epic! What conservative student wouldn’t love to go on a field trip to CNN and wear this shirt?
President Trump labeled the network as “fake news,” with CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta earning the network the label “very fake news” due to his history of deliberate clashes and grandstanding during press briefings.
The branding of CNN as “fake news” has stuck with the general public, so much so that even some children are referring to the network by the mocking moniker — though that appears to be an issue some adults are incapable of handling, as was recently reported by Fox News.
A seventh-grade Georgia boy named Jaxon Jester garnered attention from teachers and parent chaperones when he decided to wear a shirt that read “FNN – Fake News Network” while on a school field trip to the CNN studios in Atlanta.
One of the teachers forced the boy to change his shirt before embarking on the field trip to CNN.
Though no real reason has yet been given as to why, it’s a move the boy’s parents say was in violation of his First Amendment right of free speech and expression, not to mention hypocritical on the part of the school, as other recent expressions of “free speech” have been permitted in other venues.
Jaxon Jester, a student at Peachtree Charter Middle School who is the son of DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester and DeKalb County Schools board member Stan Jester, reportedly complied with his teacher’s request to change out of the shirt before touring the CNN studios, but his parents say his First Amendment rights were violated.
Stan Jester wrote a penetrating blog post about the incident and pointed out the school’s lack of consistency in handling free speech issues.
Citing a recent local event in which students took a knee during the national anthem and were defended by the school as exercising their right to free speech, Jester wondered why his own son’s right to free speech was stifled.
“This year when the CNN tour was announced, my 7th grade son Jaxon asked me if he could purchase an FNN-Fake News Network shirt to wear for his field trip,” Jester wrote. “As an advocate for the First Amendment, I agreed to his request.
“His mother cautioned him that he might cause a controversy and needed to be prepared for that,” he continued. “He was fully aware of the implications of his decision and made the affirmative choice to wear his shirt.”
Jester noted that shortly after his son had been sent off to school, he received a call from the principal informing him that his son had been forced to change his shirt.
“I’m disappointed by the hypocrisy of this decision,” stated Jester. “Some students are celebrated when they make a controversial display during the National Anthem. My student was forced to remove his shirt because someone didn’t like it.”
“I defend speech and expression, even if I disagree, or it makes me uncomfortable,” he added, a sentiment America’s freedom of speech used to be firmly based upon.
But apparently some adults on the field trip disagreed with or felt uncomfortable about the message displayed by Jaxon’s shirt, and it is noteworthy that the Jesters received an apology from the school for what happened, even as other adults have cast blame on the parents for the allowing the incident to occur in the first place. (An op-ed published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday does just that.)
Adults can argue about whether the boy had a fundamental right to wear the shirt he chose to wear, even if some disagreed with the message or found it to be distasteful or even ill-advised, given the destination of the field trip.
Imagine what would have happened had the situation been reversed. Can you imagine a student from NY on a field trip to the Fox News who wears a shirt that reads “Faux News”? What about a student from Chicago that visits the Chicago Police Academy who wears a shirt that says “Black Lives Matter”?
Do you seriously think the outcry from teachers and chaperones would have been the same? What about those students? Would they have been forced to remove their t-shirts or turn them inside out?
As liberals seem to point out there stance is quite clear: “Free speech for me, but not for thee.”
What would you have done if you were the school administrator? Would you have allowed the boy to wear the classic t-shirt that read ‘Fake News’ on his field trip to CNN?
H/T Conservative Tribune