ATLANTA — A Georgia family is under fire for allowing a seventh grader to wear a T-shirt that mocked CNN on a school field trip to CNN’s Atlanta headquarters — but the boy’s parents think the school violated the First Amendment by making their son take it off.
According to Fox News, Nancy and Stan Jester, of Dekalb, are both local elected officials, she a county commissioner and he is a member of the local school board. Their son, seventh-grader Jaxon, wore a shirt mocking the CNN logo as “FNN” with the caption, “Fake News Network.”
A teacher asked him to remove it before the tour, but the school has since apologized to the Jesters. However, the parents want an apology for Jaxon because, they say, the whole thing was his idea and he has the right to free speech.
“This year when the CNN tour was announced, my 7th grade son Jaxon asked me if he could purchase an FNN-Fake News Network shirt to wear for his field trip,” Stan Jester wrote in a blog post. “As an advocate for the First Amendment, I agreed to his request.”
Jester continued: “His mother cautioned him that he might cause a controversy and needed to be prepared for that. He was fully aware of the implications of his decision and made the affirmative choice to wear his shirt.”
The boy’s father wrote that he is “disappointed by the hypocrisy” of the decision to make his son change his shirt.
“Some students are celebrated when they make a controversial display during the National Anthem. My student was forced to remove his shirt because someone didn’t like it. I defend speech and expression, even if I disagree, or it makes me uncomfortable,” he wrote.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Maureen Downey wrote a column asking, “Was a Dekalb board member wrong to allow son to wear insulting T-shirt to CNN tour?”
At the end of her column, Downey declared that, “As a parent who has chaperoned a lot of field trips, I would avoid sending my child off with an attitude or attire that could create problems not only for teachers, but parent chaperones, most of whom take off work to give their time.”
President Trump often refers to CNN as “fake news” on a regular basis and mocked the network on Twitter as recently as Wednesday.
“While in the Philippines I was forced to watch @CNN, which I have not done in months, and again realized how bad, and FAKE, it is,” Trump tweeted. “Loser!”