El Dorado, CA – A California high school student was arrested on Monday after she assaulted another student and her teacher over her classmate’s Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat.
Jo-Ann Butler, a 17-year-old Union Mine High School senior, allegedly ripped a classmate’s MAGA hat off of their head and threw it on the floor, KOVR-TV reported.
The El Dorado Union High School District does permit students to wear political symbols as part of their clothing.
When her teacher tried to intervene and asked Butler to leave the classroom, she slapped him.
A classmate captured a grainy video of the classroom altercation.
The video showed the teacher in the back of the classroom trying to separate Butler from the other student to guide her out of the classroom.
Instead of leaving as requested, the video showed Butler unleashed a profanity-filled rant and then struck the teacher as he escorted her out of the classroom, according to KOVR.
Butler told KOVR that she was making a political statement when she grabbed the MAGA hat off her fellow student.
“That’s a racist and hateful symbol,” Butler said.
She said that her actions were intended to “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, said he didn’t like the way his daughter behaved, but said the issue of wearing a MAGA hat in class is perhaps something that needs to be discussed, despite current rules that permit political expression.
“I don’t agree with grabbing someone’s hat and verbally talking to them in that way,” he told KOVR. “But as far as the issue being brought up, maybe this is something that needs to be brought up.”
The school district released a statement that said student and staff safety was its highest priority, and that the district was cooperating with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.
Butler was suspended for one week from school for her attack on her classmate and teacher.
KOVR said they were waiting to find out if Butler would be charged with two counts of battery, according to KOVR.