Catholic private school expels family’s students over controversy about 13-year-old’s Trump-themed speech on patriotism

News & Politics

A Catholic private school expelled three students from the same family after their 13-year-old tried to give a Trump-themed speech about patriotism.

Officials at St. Bonaventure Catholic School in Huntington Beach, California, said that Jimmy Heyward refused to follow their demands when he submitted a video of a speech for a school election. He was running for “commissioner of patriotism and school spirit,” according to his speech.

‘I will make spirit great again. I will make SBS great again.’

Heyward employed imagery and verbiage referencing elements from the presidential campaign for former President Donald Trump.

“My love for America is my motivation for running for commissioner of patriotism and school spirit,” said Heyward in the video. “I will make spirit great again. I will make SBS great again.”

He expected to present the speech to the other students in May when the principal of the school asked him to delete the portions of the speech about patriotism.

Heyward refused.

“I didn’t remove the patriotic part of the speech, that’s the most important part. I’m not removing it,” he explained in an interview to KTTV-TV.

He says that he was not allowed to present his speech and instead was forced to sit while other students read their speeches.

“That was humiliating,” he said.

Then, the school notified the family that he and his two sisters at the school would be expelled.

Hattie Ruggles told KTTV that there was a bright side to her children having to find a new school in the Fall.

“Seeing how they just kind of wrote us off and thrown the girls in with it as well, I don’t think that’s a good environment to be sending my children to,” she said.

‘We’ve just told the truth from day one, Jimmy’s truth. And that’s it. We’re not smearing anything.’

The school said in their letter that the family had acted contrary to their Christian code of conduct by “smear campaign against the school and the administration” that included a petition to fire the principal of the school.

Ruggles denies the accusation from the private school.

“We’ve just told the truth from day one, Jimmy’s truth,” she explained. “And that’s it. We’re not smearing anything.”

The family said they got a notification from the school that the principal would also not be returning for the next school season.

The school issued a statement about the controversy on Thursday.

As a matter of campus policy, we do not comment on private student or family matters. However, St. Bonaventure Catholic School remains committed to the principles outlined in our Christian Code of Conduct and Parent Handbook. To that end, we expect all parents and students to uphold these standards, which are crucial to developing a respectful and supportive school community for all.

We will continue our Christ-centered, faith-based mission of fostering an environment where every student can thrive spiritually and academically.

The boy’s entire speech and the principal’s editing request were obtained and published by KTTV.

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