Tyler Maxwell, a high school student in Port Orange, FL, is now suing his school district because they revoked his parking pass due to the fact that he had an elephant statue with "Trump" emblazoned on it in the back of his truck.
Maxwell, 18, said that the elephant was a gift from his grandfather, and obtained from a car dealership. His father and he together painted it before the 2016 election to show their support for Trump, and he had been in the habit of carrying it around in the back of his truck.
According to Click Orlando, Maxwell happily parked his truck in the student lot at Spruce Creek High School on September 14, and went to his first class.
Twenty minutes later, he was summoned to the principal's office. “I was told to I had to go ahead and take it off campus,” Maxwell told the press. He immediately called his father, who showed up and asked for the school to put in writing why the truck wasn't allowed on campus.
The school refused to do so, and instead doubled down by taking away Tyler's parking pass.
Tyler then switched to distance learning, and the family hired a lawyer who is federally suing the school district for First Amendment violations. They feel they have been discriminated against.
“It’s a freedom of speech case. The question is should a student have to give up his free speech right when he drives onto school property. The answer to that is no and the school just needs to realize that,” said the family lawyer, Jacob Heubert.
A statement released by the local school district, Volusia County Public Schools, claims that the school considers itself obliged to provide a politically neutral environment.
"We allow political expression by students in the form of a T-shirt or a bumper sticker, but large signage is a different situation. A passerby could interpret a large sign in a school parking lot to be an endorsement by the school district … We don’t allow our parking lots to be used for political statements."