Bastrop ISD investigates Trump flags being used to harass minority students
A group of Central Texas high school students allegedly used Trump flags to harass minority classmates at a football game last Friday. Bastrop students say this isn't the first time classmates have brought their Trump flags to a football game, but Bastrop Independent School District says it will be the last.
Senior Patrick Daiz says he's used to being singled out as both Hispanic and one of the only openly-gay students at his school.
"These kids … they know my background. They know how I identify myself and they find it amusing and appealing to call me names," he says.
Diaz is part of the high school's "hype crew" on the sidelines, with cheerleaders hyping up the student section. Diaz explains he didn't have a problem with the flags being at the game but says it was how they were being used for intimidation that upset him.
"We go to a football game to have fun. Not to worry about this kind of stuff," he says.
Diaz says the students with Trump flags started waving them at him while shouting his name. A friend of Daiz's asked them to stop.
"They also told my friend, in that instant, 'Go back to Mexico,' which was very offensive. Her mom is from Mexico. Her dad is from Mexico," says Diaz.
In a statement, Bastrop ISD says:
Based on a report of inappropriate remarks at Friday's game, Bastrop High School administrators conducted a thorough investigation today. Although the findings were inconclusive, we determined that the presence of a political flag and banner at the game created dissension and strife that had no place at a high school football game. In Bastrop ISD, we strive to uphold an environment where all students feel safe and welcomed, and we want our games to focus on competition and sportsmanship. Going forward, we will not allow any items that we deem contrary to that ideal.
Daiz says he reported the incident to officers at the game and school officials that night and wishes it would have been addressed sooner.
"So many people asked nicely, 'Put them away.' The game is not political in any way. The game is for us to come and have fun -- unite as one team, not divide," says Diaz.