The profanities flew in the classroom, and so did the hat.
Something about President Donald Trump’s slogan incensed the California high school student on Monday. She yelled at a classmate in English class who was wearing a hat emblazoned with “Make America Great Again” and threw it to the ground, authorities said.
The teacher banished her from the class at Union Mine High School in El Dorado.
But she returned and snatched the hat a second time, and she slapped the teacher’s arm away when he tried to keep her from the other student, authorities said. She appears to curse in cellphone video filmed by a student and published by local media.
The student was arrested on campus by a school resource officer and taken to a juvenile detention center, the El Dorado Sheriff’s Office said.
Authorities did not release her name, but CBS Sacramento identified the student as Jo-Anne Butler, a 17-year-old senior. She defended her actions in an interview with the station.
“That’s a racist and hateful symbol,” Butler, who has been suspended from her school for a week and faces potential battery charges, told CBS Sacramento about the hat. “Maybe just wake people up in some type of way, because it’s not cool the environment our classroom is in.”
Her father, Chris Butler, told the station that he did not approve of the disruption or the alleged actions of his daughter.
“But,” he said, “as far as the issue being brought up, maybe this is something that needs to be brought up.”
The Washington Post could not reach him for further comment.
The El Dorado County district attorney’s office did not respond to a request for comment about whether charges would be filed. The El Dorado Union High School District did not respond to a request for comment, but it told CBS that student and staff safety is the “highest priority” and that it is cooperating with authorities.
The red MAGA hats, and variations that come in all colors, have become political symbols and stand-ins for the praise and criticism of Trump. That has led to tensions and high-profile incidents across the country, and often on campus.
Some MAGA hat-clad white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Va., during a Unite the Right rally last August; counterprotester Heather Heyer was killed in violence surrounding that rally. About a week later, high school students wearing similar hats created a disruption on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., a historically black school.
And in September, a Georgia teacher sent home two students wearing “Make America Great Again” T-shirts, mistakenly believing that political slogans were banned from the school. The school district later apologized and said the teacher “inappropriately” gave her political opinion in class.