Seventh Grader and Sisters Expelled from School Over Free Speech Disagreement

( – A group of siblings has been banned from returning to one California private school over a campaign speech being prohibited by one of the boys and the parents expressing their displeasure about the situation to the public.

Jimmy Heyward is about to graduate from the 7th grade and recently had a speech of his go viral after he was banned by his school’s principal from giving it to the student body in advance of elections for next year’s student government.

Former Principal Mary Flock at the Saint Bonaventure Catholic School instructed Jimmy that he had to remove all parts about “patriotism” from his campaign speech for Commissioner of School Spirit and Patriotism. Jimmy refused, and was forbidden from giving his speech as a consequence.

Jimmy’s full speech is available here, but briefly he spoke about the honor he feels living in America and how folks take citizenship for granted. He also encouraged folks to understand the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance. Jimmy also wore a Trump-style MAGA hat and included his desire to “make school spirit great again” which clearly triggered Flock.

The school responded saying that all speeches were edited and reviewed by administrators. It did not explain why all references to patriotism should be removed from an office that includes the term in the title.

Jimmy’s mother, Hattie Ruggles, organized a petition to have Flock fired. In the petition Ruggles details how Flock called the cops on Jimmy’s father/her husband, Ed Heyward, who complained to her in person the day of the event.

Jimmy was forced to sit on stage for an hour while unable to deliver his speech. When the police arrived, Ed Heyward explained the situation and the cops said that he could stay at the event and even thanked Jimmy for the things he wanted to say in his speech.

Flock sent a school-wide email blast which grossly mischaracterized the interaction, according to Ruggles. Flock was subsequently fired and won’t be returning to the school next year, but the same is true for Jimmy and his two younger sisters. The school informed them that their children aren’t allowed to return next year due to supposedly violating school policies.

Copyright 2024,