High school student asked to remove Trump flag during virtual class

High school student asked to remove Trump flag during virtual class
Posted at 6:21 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 19:21:46-04

(News 12/CNN Newsource) - A New Jersey high school student says he got in trouble for what was behind him during a virtual class.

The 17-year-old claims two teachers asked him to remove a Trump 2020 flag from his wall and when he didn't, he was asked to leave class.

"Just because I don't follow his agenda or political view, he has to suppress me in a way and violate my freedom of speech," said Anthony Ribeiro, a high school junior.

Seventeen year old Anthony Ribeiro says he logged into chemistry class last week from home when what's behind him quickly became a problem.

The Toms River North junior says his chemistry teacher asked him to remove his Trump flag from the wall behind him.

"He said, 'If you're not gonna take it down, it's unacceptable and I'm gonna have to ask you to leave the class for today,' and at that point I waved goodbye and I was out of the class," Ribeiro said.

Ribeiro says it happened a second time in a different class the next day. He says he took the flag down that time, worrying it may affect his grades.

"If I had to do it again, I probably wouldn't have because it's what I stand for," said Ribeiro said.

"To me it's not about politics, it's about something in our home that we had and my son was taken away from his studies for it," said Ribeiro's mother. "It's very upsetting to me and very frustrating that this teacher would do that."

The family says the school district did agree with them that the teacher's request to take the flag down was wrong. What they say they are asking for at this point is an apology from that teacher.

"I really just want it to not happen again because it is horrible for somebody to be, like I said, suppressed and to feel negated because she or he doesn't follow the same ideas that another person does," said Ribeiro.

The school district says it is handling the matter internally and is working with all parties involved to resolve the issue.