Outrage at California School: Principal Humiliates Student Over Patriotic Speech

Children in the classroom. (Credit: Unsplash/CDC)

Only in California would a middle-school student be ostracized for discussing patriotism. Saint Bonaventure Catholic School student Jimmy Heyward was prohibited from speaking at a school event because he refused to remove references to patriotism from his speech, according to his parents, who are calling for Principal Mary Flock to be fired over her conduct during the incident.


The parents stated that their son, who was running for “Commissioner of School Spirit & Patriotism,” was “completely humiliated” when he sought to give a speech at the election rally.

Heyward's mother, Hattie Ruggles, claims her son was told to remove "all parts about patriotism" from his campaign speech or he would not be allowed to deliver it before the school assembly. In the speech, the student talks about the importance of showing respect to veterans during the National Anthem or when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

"Jimmy stood up to her and said he wasn’t going to take the parts about patriotism out of his speech," Ruggles wrote in a Change.org petition calling on Flock to be fired. "She then told him he would not be speaking. Jimmy sat on stage with all the other candidates while they said their speeches. Mary Flock directed the kids hosting the rally to skip Jimmy entirely. He was on the stage for an hour in front of his peers/teachers/parents being completely humiliated by Mary Flock."

Pictures posted to the parents' social media accounts show the student wearing a red hat and campaign sign in the same style of Donald Trump's. However, instead of Make America Great Again, it says, "Make SBS [Saint Bonaventure School] Great Again."


Heyward’s father confronted the principal at the assembly, alleging that they silenced his son because “his views didn’t align with theirs.” Flock responded by calling law enforcement to the assembly to remove the father from the premises even after he had already walked away. The mother said Principal Flock later lied about the incident in an email sent to parents that day.

A screenshot of that alleged email shows Principal Flock explaining Heyward was not allowed to give his speech because he did not have the adjusted final version approved by her. Flock also said that law enforcement was called on the father to "ensure the safety and well-being of those present."

"This incident reminds us of the importance of maintaining a respectful and inclusive environment within our school community," the email says.

“If a speech does not receive final approval, we adhere to our established guidelines, which means the student will not be permitted to deliver the speech,” the email said, also claiming that “school administrators felt encouraged by the words of patriotism but were discouraged by what is perceived as some negative comments and sought adjustments to make it more positive.”


However, Heyward’s parents contradict the principal’s claims, saying their son’s final draft was submitted within the deadline. In the petition, the parents argued that the principal’s conduct was “unacceptable” and “does not align with the values we expect from our school’s leadership.”

They added: “We demand that Mary Flock be removed as principal immediately.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos