Jaxon Jester, a seventh-grade boy of the town of Dunwoody, Dekalb County, Georgia, joined his schoolmates for a field trip to that Atlanta headquarters of CNN. In silent protest, Jaxon wore a T shirt emblazoned with the letters “FNN” and the the words “fake news network” underneath. His teachers were not amused. Jaxon’s minders from the school told him that he remove the shirt in order to go on the field trip. His parents were flabbergasted by the order, claiming that the order violated Jaxon’s First Amendment rights.

Despite a later apology from Peachtree Charter Middle School, there was outrage in Dekalb as debate blazed on social media and online forums over the school’s decision. Some citizens defended the school’s action, claiming it is parents’ responsibility to monitor their children’s political views.

Stan Jester, Jaxon’s father, stated in a blog posting: 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 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."

Disappointed by the “hypocrisy of the situation,” Stan Jester wrote, “I defend speech and expression, even if I disagree, or it makes me uncomfortable.” He continued:

Stan Jester is a member of the Dekalb school board. His wife, Jaxon's mother, Nancy Jester is a county commissioner.



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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