A group of high school students in Arizona are protesting in support of a black classmate whose teacher called the police on him because he was wearing a bandana, the Huffington Post reports.
On Friday, 17-year-old Valentino was on his way to lunch when a teacher asked him to take the bandana off, saying it violated Apache Junction High School’s dress code.
The student usually complied when he’s asked by members of staff but he noticed that other students “who are usually white” were being allowed to wear the accessory without penalty.
“She told me, ‘if you don’t take it off, I will call the police and have you arrested,’” Valentino explained. “I said, ‘If you need to call them, you should,’ and walked back to my lunch table.” Moments later, the teacher returned with a police officer who told Valentino that his bandana was gang paraphernalia and therefore against the school’s code of conduct.
According to the Apache Junction Police Department, the teen refused and challenged the officer, and then was taken into custody after he continued to be noncompliant and abusive. After six hours, Valentino was released and is reportedly now serving a nine-day suspension.
On Monday, several Apache Junction students came to school wearing bandanas in support of Valentino, a gesture the teen says he appreciates.
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