On March 5, 2019, our son, Gunnar Johansson, 14, a middle school student from Martin County, FL, told the news station it was hat day at his school and he decided to wear a Trump, Make America Great Again hat, "to show my pride in Trump America."
Seconds after boarding his bus to go to school, the Bus Aide, told him to remove his hat. "Boy, if you don't take that hat off this bus.....take it off...take that hat off..." the woman is heard saying very loudly and angrily.
"I was really confused. I was like 'I can't wear this?'" Johansson recalled. Video shows Johansson responding in a respectful, submissive manner.
"She, like, threatened me with a referral and threatened to turn the bus around...and then she yanked my hat off. It was crazy," Johansson said.
Other children on the bus, some wearing hats, stood up for Gunnar, and were heard in the background saying, "You can't do that, you can't take his hat off, you can't touch him!" These are respectful children from our neighborhood who would typically not question authority.
School bus video with audio shows this incident of the bus aide intimidating, harassing and bullying Gunnar because of his political views. This can be seen on the following links..... https://amp.tcpalm.com/amp/328
The outcome of this incident is that the School District minimized the events and behavior of the bus aide. The School District reported it as only misconduct, with a minimal suspension and no punishment to the bus driver for not reporting the incident.
The school district did not label this as intimidation, discrimination or bullying based on political views.
I believe the Bus Aide, Bus driver , the Martin County School District Superintendent and School Board handled this poorly. To this day, none of the above have reached out to Gunnar, or have written to him to apologize, or assure him that he has done nothing wrong.
Conversely, the conservative community has praised Gunnar and encouraged him for standing up for our country and our President, assuring him that he did nothing wrong. I'm grateful for this.
Our family has faced obstacles and resistance in getting our voice out their. It has been proven difficult as a Mom and a young boy to take this on , to stand up for what is right and true to such a powerful establishment , such as the Martin County School District.
Since this incident , the bus video has gone viral. New's stations have reached out to us. Gunnar was able to tell his story on Fox & Friends. It ignited a fire in kids that were too afraid to stand up. For that, we are grateful for the awareness.