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School District Clarifies Events Surrounding Controversy With Trump Apparel

Protesters lined up near Perry High School in Gilbert in response to a situation Friday where students wearing President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” apparel were reprimanded.

A spokesperson for the Chandler Unified School District, which Perry High School is a part of, said to KJZZ in an email that students were asked to put away a Trump banner after a verbal altercation during the school day. Perry principal Dan Serrano said over the weekend in a letter to parents that another incident took place after school. The district said students who wore Trump gear did not violate the district’s dress or conduct codes.

The district confirms students aren’t being disciplined for wearing Trump related gear or for expressing political views. But students are expected to refrain from disruptive behavior, and comply with directions of district officials or resource officers, including when requested to identify themselves. Reportedly, several students refused to state their names, without parental consent, when officers talked with them following Friday’s incident. A parent told The Arizona Republic that a student was suspended as part of this event, but the district cannot comment on discipline due to student protection laws.

The district said Perry High will be communicating directly with students and their parents on a personal basis as needed to try to address individual family concerns.

After spending seven months as a news intern for KJZZ, Matt Kling returned in January 2019 as a general assignment reporter, mainly on the weekends.Kling’s radio career started when he joined Blaze Radio as freshman at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School. At Blaze Radio he has served as a host, producer and assistant production director. He’s also interned for KTAR before joining KJZZ in 2018.Kling also has extensive work in television production, working as a director, technical director and other positions for Cronkite News and Arizona PBS. Today, Kling serves as a newscast producer for Cronkite News. He anticipates graduation from the Cronkite School in May 2019.When he’s not working, you can find Kling out and about on the town, or in his downtown Phoenix apartment watching his favorite Philadelphia sports teams.