Tyler Maxwell Florida Trump elephant driving student freedom of speech drama with school administrators who revoked his parking permit over figurine in bed of truck.
A Florida high school student who sued his school last month after they revoked his parking privileges when he showed up with a pro-Trump ‘elephant’ display, has been allowed to retain his parking spot after a federal judge issued a restraining order against the school.
Tyler Maxwell, 18, a fervent Donald Trump supporter who looks forward to voting for the incumbent Republican president told of placing a massive elephant figurine in the flat bed of his truck decorated with pro-Trump signs and driving the vehicle it to school in New Smyrna Beach only to soon find himself being stonewalled by administrators, Fox 35 reports.
It was only a few minutes into one of his classes on Sept. 14, Maxwell said he was taken aside by Spruce Creek High School‘s principal and told to remove his truck from the parking lot. When he returned the next day with the decorated elephant, the school revoked his parking privileges.
‘I wanted to put the elephant on the back of my truck because it was the first time that I was going to be able to vote,’ the Port Orange student told via the Daytona Beach News-Journal. ‘I support President Donald Trump and I wanted to be able to show that.”
‘It’s a freedom of speech case,’ reiterated Maxwell’s lawyer Jacob Heubert. ‘The question is, ‘Should a student have to give up his free speech right when he drives onto school property?’ The answer to that is no and the school just needs to realize that.’
Define political statement?
Last week, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order allowing Maxwell to retain his parking privileges.
The Volusia County School District continues to maintain that the parking lot should not be used for what it described as ‘political statements.’
Maxwell’s lawyer continues to maintain that political speech can only be censored if it is a threat or will cause a disruption, which the attorney said wasn’t the case. Huebert also noted that students at the school are allowed to have Biden bumper stickers and wear Black Lives Matter apparel.
Nancy Wait of Volusia County Schools provided a statement on behalf of the school board, superintendent, principal, and assistant principal.
Social media responds
‘The school board has an obligation to provide politically neutral campuses for all students,’ Wait wrote. ‘We allow political expression by students in the form of a t-shirt or bumper sticker. But large signage is a different situation. A passerby could interpret a large sign in a school parking lot to be an endorsement by the school district. We don’t allow our parking lot to be used for political statements.’
In the interim, the student’s attorney continues to push for the school to publicly declare that Maxwell’s First Amendment rights had been violated.
And then there were these responses on social media that caught this author’s attention. See what you think?
‘Then get the school board to pass official rules regarding the size of political expression (bumper stickers, shirts, hats, etc) allowed on campus. It’s that easy, but the school administration knows their real intent is to suppress conservative speech so they hurriedly made something up to address the fallout from their wrongdoing.’
‘Widespread discrimination against conservatives is allowed or even encouraged on many campuses and very few public schools and universities are even close to politically neutral.’