EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — Tensions at Union Mine High School continue to mount over a Make America Great Again hat.
Threats of a protest at Friday night’s football game between Union Mine High School and Douglas High School and rumors of violence led school officials to cancel the game.
“I was actually planning to go with some friends,” said Union Mine freshman Steven Aguero. “After school ended, the announcement went off saying that the game has been canceled. So I couldn’t go.”
According to a statement from Principal Paul Neville, the cancelation was a collection decision between Union Mine High School, Douglas High School and El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. School officials say they had safety concerns.
“I don’t want harm to come to anybody, regardless of who it is,” said Jo-Ann Butler.
On Monday, 17-year-old Butler grabbed a hat, featuring President Trump’s campaign slogan, off of a fellow student’s head. Cellphone video shows the teacher trying to subdue her in the classroom.
“Nazis do not deserve freedom of speech in the expression of hate,” Butler read to CBS13, as a part of a personal statement. “People are killed behind the beliefs represented by those hats.”
Butler has been suspended from school and faces two counts of battery for allegedly slapping her teacher. She told CBS13 she had no plans to act out at the game.
“I was not involved in any of it,” she said.
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office released a statement saying, in part, “Threats of protest increased throughout the week, with rumors that some expressed the desire to incite violence, including bringing firearms to the school.”
School resource officers investigated and found no evidence backing up the threats.
“If they had a good reason for it, they should have canceled, but if there was nothing too major, they shouldn’t have,” Aguero said.
Kayden Bees is a freshman football player at Ponderosa High School and says he can only imagine the disappointment the players must be feeling.
“We wouldn’t be happy at all, our coach would probably make us go back and practice for the rest of the day,” he said.
Butler just wants the school to reconsider what it allows students to wear.
“All I’m saying is no symbols of hate speech or racism should be allowed in classrooms!” she said.
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office says it is not aware of any specific threats to the community or schools just the rumor that got the game canceled. But investigators are continuing to look into the situation.