When a 12 year-old boy recently spoke up in class to express his support for President Donald Trump, his teacher tried to humiliate him in front of his classmates, but it didn’t end well for her.
Jackson Cody is a seventh grade student at O’Maley Innovation Middle School in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Earlier this month, Cody found himself being targeted by his teacher after he dared to express his support for Trump while the class discussed the debate between the president and Joe Biden.
“I just feel like our country wasn’t in a great place,” he told WBZ-TV. “I just wanted to learn more about Donald Trump because it seemed like he was making our country rise again and become America again.”
However, the 12 year-old quickly learned that publicly supporting the president in any way is considered to be “offensive” in many circles these days.
“The teacher asked, ‘Who supports Donald Trump?'” Cody said to WHDH-TV. “And I was the only one to raise my hand.”
He added that “a few kids were going to raise their hands, but then they heard the teacher say to me, ‘Oh Mr. Jackson, I thought I liked you.'”
Things only went downhill from there.
“Then she asked why I support a racist and a pedophile,” Cody recalled, adding that “she also said, ‘I am ashamed of any woman who voted for Donald Trump,’ and I told her my mom and one of my grandmothers voted for Donald Trump.”
Other students quickly followed their teacher’s lead and turned on Cody, who was stunned that the educator did nothing to stop them.
“I was just upset because other kids in the class were ganging up on me, laughing at me, and she was laughing and wouldn’t say anything to them,” he said.
Once Cody went home and told his parents what had happened, they decided to fight back. They enlisted the help of a First Amendment attorney and demanded that the school apologize immediately. Cody’s parents stood by their son for expressing his political views in this way.
“We tell them to stand up for yourself and don’t be afraid to speak your opinion,” the boy’s father Jay Cody said. “Their opinions are theirs; they’re not our opinions. They’re very well read children. They like to educate themselves on their own topics. Unfortunately they do disagree with us very often.”
Once her intolerance against political views that differ from her own fully came back to bite the teacher, she finally apologized to Cody. Gloucester Public Schools Superintendent Ben Lummis also released a statement expressing his disappointment over this incident.
“We always want our students and staff to feel safe — and that their point of view is understood and respected,” he said. “Every day in our schools — we strive for tolerance, understanding, different perspectives and being civil.”
Lummis added that staffers in the district will undergo training next week on how to address controversial topics with their students, something that came as good news to the Cody family.
“Certain topics — politics, religion, even sports nowadays — can sometimes be discussed and can very much make kids feel uncomfortable,” Jay Cody said. “You would hope teachers could recognize that and take advantage of it the opposite way.”
He added that if teachers do want to address controversial topics in the classroom, they “stand in the middle and hear from both sides.”
As for 12 year-old Cody, he said that “everyone has the right to their own opinion, and everyone should respect that.”