Free Speech

Police Investigate a High School Student for Making a Joke About Trump

"We’re still doing interviews, speaking with students, learning what was said and the context of the comment."


A teenager made fun of President Donald Trump. Apparently, that's a matter for the police.

In North Carolina, the Surry County Sheriff's Office is investigating a North Surry High School student for telling an anti-Trump joke during a school-sponsored improv show.

"Regrettably, the performance included an inappropriate joke about the President," the school explained in a statement, according to The Winston-Salem Journal.

The article does not say, and the school has not revealed, what the joke was. Perhaps it broke some sort of school rule. In that case, it may merit disciplinary action—by the school.

But—as should be obvious to all—an offensive joke is not so serious that the police need to involve themselves. Unless the "joke" was actually a violent threat, in which case I assume the statement would spell this out, there is simply nothing to investigate. It's protected speech.

The sheriff's office sprang into action after several pearl-clutching parents complained, according to The Journal:

Shortly after the comment was made, the sheriff's office received several complaints, including one from a concerned parent, said Capt. Scott Hudson of the sheriff's office.

That complaint started the investigation, which is being conducted by school resource officers, Hudson said.

"We're still doing interviews, speaking with students, learning what was said and the context of the comment," Hudson said.

I reached out to the school's principal, Paige Badgette, and resource officer, Delinda Kyle, but did not immediately receive a response.

This is one of the dangers of having police in schools in the first place: Minor disciplinary matters that should be addressed by parents, teachers, and councillors end up getting handled by the cops. And the police influence makes it much more likely that misbehaving teens will find themselves unnecessarily involved in the criminal justice system.

The school and the police should put an immediate stop to the investigation and cease violating this teen's First Amendment rights. And the parents who called the cops on a kid for making an anti-Trump joke may want to think twice if they're ever tempted to complain about political correctness run amok.

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  1. Notice how only a white kid and an Asian kid have their hands raised in that picture? So racist.

    1. There’s a Black girl over on the left with her hand up, but the self-loathing Black teacher is ignoring her.

    2. How do you know he is Asian? You are hair typing; we need to get Soave on this.

  2. The article does not say, and the school has not revealed, what the joke was.

    He probably mentioned a woodchipper.

    1. I’m pretty sure it was a dramatic reading of SugarFree’s 2016 Campaign Coverage. Hope the kid can handle hard time.

  3. Donald Trump walks into Ping Pong Comet Pizza and sees Ivanka getting gangbanged on a pinball machine and Barron tied up in a corner, covered in shit and piss.
    “What kind of place is this!?” exclaims Tha Donald “TURN DOWN THE GODDAMNED RAP MUSIC.”

    1. The Aristocrats!

  4. >This is one of the dangers of having police in schools in the first place

    also the danger of having parents attend high school variety shows.

    1. No jokes which allude directly to the President’s status as a mortal being.

      Instead, I find the “yo momma” jokes much better.

      “Trump’s momma so fat, she lives in two zip codes.”

      “Trump’s momma so ugly, after she visited the White House people asked about the new statue collection.” (because she’s Medusa, you see)

      “Trump’s momma so dumb, she thinks her granddaughter worships in Shirley Temple.”

      1. The lenses of glasses are so thick that when she looks at a road map she can see people waving at her.

  5. At least the kid didn’t tell a joke about cops.

    1. Then they would have shot his dog.

  6. So… Robby has no facts of interest to actually report on. I am really getting tired of these articles where we don’t get a quote of something “controversial” that was said. This happened during a school sponsored event. One would assume that enough people witnessed this for an actual journalist to at least pick up on a word or theme used that would land the kid in trouble. Saying it’s just an “anti-Trump” joke seems misleading right now.
    Also, if we have school resource officers and parents are calling the department to investigate this then why not use the officers to look into it? No charges are being filed so far as I know, so I have no problem with the sheriff’s office appeasing parents by taking point in this.

    1. They are investigating a teen for telling a joke. That in and of itself is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

      1. School Resource Officer; sounds like a problem looking for a solution. Or a hammer needing a nail.

  7. The article does not say, and the school has not revealed, what the joke was.

    Until we know what the joke was, and get some context, I can’t judge whether police involvement was justified.

    My gut tells me: Probably not justified. But just so you kids born after Twitter, the Secret Service “investigates all threats against the president”. Generally how this works is, someone who’s offended or concerned by something may report to local police. Local police may look into it to see if there’s anything credible there, then they’ll pass it up to the Secret service. This is in cases where the threat wasn’t broadcast or disseminated widely enough for the SS to be aware of said threat.

    None of this is to say that this particular investigation is justified. But unfortunately, we’re just sitting around a closed box, railing against or defending the contents of the box, without looking inside to see what the fuck it contains.

    1. Perhaps the young lad could do a three act play about a sympathetic school shooter, with characters who look suspiciously like his fellow students.

    2. Exactly my point. I hate these dumb as fuck articles that want to opine about something either not public or not presented in the article. It gives the reader no real idea of the actual situation but instead just reveals the author’s bias

      1. I remember in my early days as a young, starry eyed software developer– I walked into the room where the Hardware department (back in the olden days they used to be called that) and all four of our Hardware guys were staring at a sealed box that had just been shipped, discussing the fact that it clearly didn’t contain what they had ordered. As the debate raged on, I sat and watched this heated discussion, much bemused.

        “We’re going to have to ship it back!”

        “How could they have made such a mistake”

        “This is going to delay the project”.

        Without fanfare, I stepped into the middle of the circle, slit the sealing tape on the box, opened it and discovered it had exactly what was ordered, the shipment was correct.

        I’m always amazed at how much energy people will expend, discussing the ‘state’ of something, while expressing little energy in actually looking AT the state of something. And this happens a LOT in IT, just so you know.

        “Clearly THIS is the state of the server.”

        “Nay Nay, good sir… I believe THIS is the state of the server.”

        “au Contraire, my good man, the logs will clearly show this!”

        “You sir, speaketh with forked tongue! It can’t possibly show such a condition!”

        Me: *logs on to server* So guys, here’s the state of the server.

        1. But until you opened the box, the shipment was neither correct nor incorrect.

          1. Schrödinger’s Cat5

              1. You too, Vernon, you got the ball rolling.

        2. Who cares about the shipment? Was the cat dead or alive?!

          1. The correct answer is: C, really pissed off about being shut up in a box.

    3. Given that it was said on stage in the context of an improv show, I’m going to assume it was a joke not meant to be taken seriously. I don’t need to know the exact wording to infer things on the context. Robbie’s in the right on this one, it’s a case of overpolicing in schools.

      1. It’s certainly a guess and a speculation worth considering.

      2. Here’s what we know so far.

        Something was said at an improv show.

        Several people complained, including a parent.

        Police were notified.

        School resource officers are looking into it.

        Things we don’t know:

        What was said.
        Who complained.
        What the nature of the complaint was.
        What exactly are the resource officers are investigating.
        What the scope of the investigation is.

        So I’m not quite sure what, exactly Robby is ‘right’ on here, but I will agree with you: There is a collection of words and syllables in the article which might warrant some outrage once we know more.

    4. “just sitting around a closed box, railing against or defending the contents of the box, without looking inside to see what the fuck it contains”

      So the joke could be either alive or dead?

      1. Ah, I should have known someone else would steal that joke.

  8. No way in hell the kid is getting in trouble for making a joke about Trump. My guess is he made a joke about something Trump said ala “Grab `em by the pussy” and it gave some yoga mom the vapors.

    1. It’s possible that he made a joke about how Trump is totally pwning the Dems on this impeachment thing. That, I could see a school involving police on.

  9. Minor disciplinary matters that should be addressed by parents, teachers, and councillors…

    Even major disciplinary matters should not be handled by cops. Only actual crimes should be handled by the police.

    1. One would hope that if it isn’t an actual crime, it wouldn’t be a major disciplinary matter.

      1. Disagree. I can easily imagine behavior that would be very disruptive in school but that would not be (or should not be) a crime.

        1. Yeah, there’s some stuff that probably shouldn’t be happening in a public school that’s legitimate (or at least not explicitly illegal) outside of it.

  10. Shortly after the comment was made, the sheriff’s office received several complaints, including one from a concerned parent

    Why shoudn’t that parent call the sheriff? It won’t be him/her who has to deal with the backlash. Their kid will.

  11. “It’s protected speech.”

    If you still think there is such a thing as protected speech in a high school, or a college campus, you haven’t been paying attention.

    1. My thoughts exactly. “First Amendment? You ain’t got no First Amendment here. And don’t even ask about the others.”

      Of course any reference to the Second will get you a police investigation for sure.

  12. Remember what happened to that Rodeo Clown who wore an Obama mask? Is this worse or better?

  13. Remember that kid who made a clock from scratch and some white lady called the cops on him because she thinks all brown people are terrorists, and this proved that we need more charter schools?

    1. Yes, I remember that fake news story, and what really happened too

  14. I think I’ll wait to pass judgment until I see Law & Order: Trump Victims Unit do a ripped-from-the-headlines dramatization of it.

    1. Law and Order: TVU. I’m kind of liking it, but I’m guessing that would be survivors of TDS.

  15. Trump is the victim of a vast leftard conspiracy to make him cry at baseball games. The First Amendment should be suspended until we are sure he is tucked in safely with a nice calming box of 20 chicken nuggets and has deemed himself sufficiently untriggered.

    You can’t have fucking freedom without Donald Trump.

    –Pretty much 90% of you

    1. “You can’t have fucking freedom without Donald Trump.” —

      Well, Isn’t that TRUE? Suspending 1st Amendment rights for being “triggered” was originated by lefty’s and still being supported by Democrats. Then there is this “tucked in safely” which is also a lefty nanny-state platform. Gun-control, food-control, healthcare-control, candy-control, straw-control, etc.. etc.. etc.. etc.. etc…etc.. etc… etc… NEVER-ENDING list of “tucked in safely protectionism”….

      President Trump has De-Regulated these with a PROVEN history record. Republicans 90% (good assumption) of the time will choose individuals over government power yet the exact opposite is true of the other side. That is what separates their very core.

      Maybe not specifically President Trump – but so far he has proven to be one of the best at, “have fucking freedom”.

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  17. Most likely, they used the never to be spoken “g” word – gun. Or worse yet used their hand in a threatening manner shaping it in the form of a “g” word, heaven forbid!

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