I am a highschool student with conservative views, a rarity these days. A few weeks ago I happened to wear a Smith and Wesson baseball hat to school. At the end of the school day, I was called to the main office where I was met by three of the school’s administrators.
To my surprise I was told that my hat was offensive to my fellow classmates and teachers. I was unaware that there was anything offensive or disturbing about my hat. As far as I was concerned I was just wearing a hat that I wear from time to time. I was further surprised when the administrators said they needed to search my backpack.
The hat bore no symbolism of guns or violence of any kind; yet, they proceeded to search my backpack.
I perceived this to be very disturbing that they “found reasonable suspicion” through the complaints of my political opposition. The administration stated I was not permitted to wear the hat to school again. Of course, there was nothing in my backpack to be found. They attempted to lecture me and force there leftist views upon me.
I was stunned by their unjustified approach to the situation. I do not understand how people can get offended by a hat representing the guns protecting them. I do not complain when my fellow classmates wear LGBTQ or Black Lives Matter shirts/hats. The administration searched me and my backpack like I was a criminal. The school’s decision to ban my hat as well as search me was a violation of my First Amendment rights as affirmed by Tinker v. Des Moines.
If students of opposing views are allowed to express their beliefs through their clothing then I should be able to as well. I find there is a double standard within the school system.
The Constitution guarantees our right to bear arms as citizens of the United States. The left claims individuals do not need guns for their own protection and it is the role of law enforcement to provide the protection. In a utopian society nobody would need guns for their own protection, but there will always be evil people out there.
In the recent Texas tragedy a civilian who lived near the church fired his legally owned gun and prevented further loss of life. This is one of many examples that highlight why the only counter to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. According to The Economist the average police response time is 11 minutes. I fully support the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms.
Most public school systems are very politically biased and violate First Amendment rights of students with opposing views. I felt the school’s decision to suppress my speech was an attack on my political views. Public schools should remain politically neutral in order to respect students opinions and should foster an environment where students can grow and expand upon their world view.
Elizabeth Najjar is a high school student active in politics in her community.