From The Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE — Some parents of students at Hewitt-Trussville High School expressed concerns after their children were told they could not wear Trump 2020 masks in school.
One parent, Bridget Smith, posted on Facebook that her son was told by Hewitt-Trussville High School Principal Tim Salem he could not wear his Trump 2020 mask. Smith went to the school to speak to Salem who she said told her the school does not want to see any names, political formats or campaign-related masks.
“It was a really good conversation with Mr. Salem,” Smith said. “He wants what’s best for the kids.”
Superintendent Dr. Pattie Neill said masks fall under Hewitt-Trussville High School’s dress code. The dress code states “HTHS students are expected to dress appropriately for the school learning environment. Students are asked to wear day clothing in the way it is designed to be worn and that appropriately covers their person. Shirts and tops should be full coverage. Clothing should not include words, symbols, pictures etc. that are offensive or in any way inappropriate for the high school environment.”
Salem said school administrators have the discretion to address the dress code.
“For dress code, if something is deemed distracting to the learning environment, we do have discretion to address, whether it’s shirts, masks, pants, shorts, etc. I’ve asked students to turn a shirt, jacket, or a mask inside out,” Salem said. “We have a lot going on with the opening of school during a pandemic, so I just want our students and teachers to be able to focus on academics and achievement.”
Some parents have expressed concern after they said students have been allowed to wear Black Lives Matter masks but not Trump masks. Salem said school administrators address each situation individually.
“With any articles of dress (shirts, masks, pants, shorts, etc.) we take a case-by-case look if it becomes a distraction to the learning environment,” Salem said. “I would like students to wear their school logo or future university on their clothing articles. Again, we’re really trying to focus on academics and achievement.”
Smith encouraged other parents to come forward, saying there will be less confusion if concerns are addressed.