- The Washington Times - Monday, March 11, 2019

Police in South Florida are investigating a possible assault of middle school student after video reportedly showed a bus assistant snatching a pro-President Trump hat off the boy’s head.

Surveillance video on a Martin County school bus en route to Hidden Oaks Middle School last week showed a bus aide yelling at 14-year-old Gunnar Johansson over his “TRUMP: Make America Great Again” hat and then grabbing the hat off of his head, a local NBC affiliate reported.

“Boy, if you don’t that hat off on this bus — take it off!” the bus aide yelled in the video, which was censored from showing the alleged assault.

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Gunnar told local media that he wore his hat that day “to show my pride in Trump America” after the school lifted its hat policy for students if they made a donation to March of Dimes.

He said that when he refused to take the hat off, the bus aide ripped it off of his head. The Martin County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to a local CBS affiliate that the surveillance video supported the boy’s claim.

“She threatened me with a referral and threatened to turn the bus around,” Gunnar said. “I said, ‘Write me up, I didn’t do anything wrong,’ and then she yanked my hat off. It was crazy.”

The boy said other students were allowed to ride the bus with their hats on.

Gunnar’s mother, Jackie Putt, filed a police report after she was prohibited from watching the bus video until an investigation by the school district is closed. She said the school does not have a policy banning political attire.

“The District is aware of the family’s allegation, we take it very seriously, and we are currently gathering all of the facts as part of our investigation,” said Frank Frangella, director of Safety and Security for the Martin County School District. “To protect the integrity of the investigation, we cannot comment beyond that.”

Martin County Lt. Ryan Grimsdale said an investigation has been opened to determine if the bus assistant committed a crime.

Gunnar said the school bus aide has not been seen on his bus since the incident.

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