Around New England

Did A High School Principal Try To Deep-Six Pro-America Day Because Some Kids Support Trump?

November 29, 2019

An anti-Trump high school principal in Abington, Massachusetts tried to cancel the school’s annual U.S.A. Day earlier this week but backed down after a member of the town’s board of health called her out on it, the board of health member said.

The principal has a different story, telling the Brockton Enterprise she has no problem with students wearing Make America Great Again hats to school and that administrators mistakenly thought the student council had voted to replace U.S.A. Day with something called “character day.”

The school eventually celebrated both character day and U.S.A. Day on Monday, November 25, but not without a sharp exchange through social media and the Brockton Enterprise, a daily newspaper based in the neighboring city of Brockton.

Alex Hagerty, an elected member of the Abington Board of Health and a 2013 graduate of Abington High School, where he occasionally had tense dealings with the principal, Teresa Sullivan, when he was there, is an employee in the health and human services department under Republican Governor Charlie Baker, according to the Brockton Enterprise.

Hagerty posted a message on his Facebook account on Saturday, November 23 saying that “multiple students” at Abington High School had told him the principal had cancelled U.S.A. Day because of her disgust with the country and with President Trump:

Spirit Week leads up to a pep rally before the Abington High School football team’s traditional Thanksgiving Day rivalry game.

Later in the same day as Hagerty’s post, a tweet appeared on the Twitter account of Abington High School saying U.S.A. Day was on:

Sullivan later told the Brockton Enterprise that the report that she personally cancelled the school day celebrating America was a “false rumor.” She also denied aspects of Hagerty’s account, including a claim that the principal threatened to cancel the pre-Thanksgiving football pep rally if the student council promoted the pro-America day.

Hagerty stood by his account, saying the account of the students he got it from was clear and believable and that it was in character for Sullivan, whom he knew as a student.

Sullivan’s personal Twitter account does not address the incident.

But the Twitter account tilts left. It includes multiple retweets that criticize President Trump and his allies. It also includes multiple retweets appearing to express support for Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttagieg, and Bernie Sanders.

Here are examples:

Sullivan also expressed longing for the days when Barack Obama was president:

 

Sullivan also expressed support for a policy reported earlier this month requiring public school students in Italy to study climate change in every grade:

 

Abington, a town of about 16,000 about 19 miles south by southeast of Boston, is one of the relatively few communities in Massachusetts where Trump ran relatively strong in 2016. Hillary Clinton took Abington by only 86 votes over Trump, according to WBUR:

 

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