A seventh-grade student in Georgia was forced to change out of a “Fake News” T-shirt before going a class trip to tour CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta.
The shirt had the letters FNN emblazoned on the front with the words “Fake News Network” below in a style similar to CNN’s lettering.
The student Jaxon Jester ordered the shirt from Amazon especially for the tour, according to his father, Stan Jester — a member of the DeKalb County School Board — in his blog post on the incident.
“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. As an advocate for the First Amendment, I agreed to his request. He picked out the shirt he wanted and ordered it from Amazon. 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.”
Jester expressed his displeasure with the decision especially after he had defended the First Amendment rights of some girls at a local high school who took a knee during the National Anthem before a game in October.
“I’m disappointed by the hypocrisy of this decision. 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.”
Both the principal and teacher at Jaxon’s school Peachtree Charter Middle School have apologized for the incident according to his mother Nancy.
The teacher’s explanation was that she thought that the t-shirt read “F-CNN” and now realizes that there was no profanity or suggestion of profanity, while the principal said he should have been made aware of the situation before Jester was forced to change his shirt.