Outrage as School Censors 13-Year-Old’s Pro-Trump Speech (Video)

Written by Abigail Thompson.

At Saint Bonaventure Catholic School in Huntington Beach, California, a controversy erupted over a student’s campaign speech. Jimmy Heyward, a 13-year-old honor-roll student and baseball player, found himself at the center of a heated debate. Jimmy was running for the position of “Commissioner of School Spirit & Patriotism,” a role meant to inspire enthusiasm and national pride among his peers. However, his attempt to express his patriotic views met with unexpected resistance.

Principal Mary Flock reportedly instructed Jimmy to remove all references to patriotism from his speech. According to a Change.org petition started by Jimmy’s mother, Hattie Ruggles, Jimmy refused to alter his speech, leading to him being barred from speaking. Instead of delivering his carefully prepared speech, Jimmy sat onstage, silenced and humiliated, as his classmates spoke.

Hattie Ruggles described the incident in stark terms, emphasizing the emotional toll it took on her son. “Jimmy stood up to her and said he wasn’t going to take the parts about patriotism out of his speech,” she wrote. “She then told him he would not be speaking.” The school’s decision to exclude Jimmy from speaking caused a stir, leading to widespread outrage and support for the young student.

The Fallout

The school’s administration, represented by Principal Flock, later claimed that Jimmy’s speech had not gone through the required “administrative approval process.” This explanation, however, did not satisfy many parents and community members. Ruggles countered Flock’s claims, accusing her of lying about the events that transpired.

The story gained traction on conservative media platforms, further amplifying the controversy. The online petition to remove Principal Flock from her position quickly gathered thousands of signatures, nearing its target of 5,000 supporters. Ruggles was vocal in her criticism of Flock, arguing that her actions were incompatible with the values expected of the school’s leadership.

In the midst of the uproar, Ruggles shared the original version of Jimmy’s speech with the social media account Libs of TikTok, hoping to garner additional support. The speech itself was a passionate plea for school spirit and patriotism, echoing the rhetorical style of a well-known political figure.

The Speech

Jimmy Heyward’s speech, modeled after the style of a prominent GOP nominee, was a stirring call to action. “I can promise to make pep rallies great again,” he declared, confidently echoing a familiar slogan. “I will make the school spirit great again. I will make patriotism within SBS great again. And mostly, I will make SBS great again.”

His proposals included organizing teacher competitions during pep rallies, revitalizing the school’s courtyard with more flowers and greenery, and hosting history-related events with guest speakers such as Holocaust survivors and 9/11 survivors. Jimmy’s speech was not just a series of empty promises; it was a well-thought-out plan to enhance the school’s community and instill a sense of pride and unity among students.

Dressed in a red MAGA-style hat, Jimmy was determined to convey his message of patriotism and school spirit. His younger sister, Liv, held up a sign that read, “Make SBS Great Again!” adding to the visual impact of his campaign.

Our Take

The incident at Saint Bonaventure Catholic School raises significant concerns about censorship and the suppression of free speech. By preventing Jimmy Heyward from delivering his speech, the school’s administration not only stifled his voice but also sent a troubling message about the limits of expression in educational settings.

Censorship, particularly in schools, is a dangerous precedent. It undermines the fundamental principles of free speech and open dialogue, which are essential for a healthy and functioning democracy. By silencing Jimmy, the school denied him the opportunity to express his ideas and contribute to the school community.

Moreover, the way Jimmy was treated—being forced to sit onstage while his peers spoke—was both humiliating and unfair. Such actions can have lasting effects on a young person’s confidence and willingness to engage in future leadership opportunities.

It is crucial for educational institutions to foster an environment where students feel safe to express their views, even if those views are controversial or unpopular. The ability to engage in respectful debate and discussion is a cornerstone of education and should be protected at all costs.

This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of vigilance in defending free speech rights, particularly in schools. If we allow censorship to take root in educational settings, we risk creating a generation of students who are afraid to speak their minds and stand up for their beliefs.

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