Apache Junction High School in Arizona called the police on a black student for wearing a bandana and refusing to remove it on Aug. 10.
Rob McDaniel, Apache Junction Police Department’s community resource coordinator, told the Apache Junction Independent that the student was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
The student, who identified himself as Valentino, told Yahoo News that he originally complied when the schools asked him to remove his bandana.
However, after several months of seeing other students “who are usually white” wear it without penalty, Valentino said he continued to wear it:
“I told the teacher that I would remove the bandana if others did the same. She said, “If you don’t remove it, I will call the police.” I said, “If you need to call them, you should,” and walked back to my lunch table.
The police arrived, and Valentino recalled that a cop defended a white student wearing a bandana:
When I asked the officer what was wrong with my bandana, he said, ‘It’s blue and other people have ruined that color. I pointed to a student wearing a bandana with an American flag pattern, and he said, “That’s for America.”
Valentino said the cop threatened to arrest him for not complying with the bandana command, but Valentino said he refused to do so:
I didn’t break the law and I don’t understand the problem.
Valentino suspended from school for nine days.
Dr. Angela Chomokos, Apache Junction High School principal, released a statement about the incident:
The incident began when a student was instructed by an administrator to remove a bandana used as a headband.
The refusal to respond to a reasonable request escalated to a point where some students were confusing the wearing of the bandana with defiance and disorderly behavior. This particular situation became escalated when students posted videos on social media sites.
At AJHS we do not condone the disorderly/defiant behavior and will take the necessary disciplinary and legal action to discourage it from happening.
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