An Apache Junction High School student was arrested after his teachers accused him of violating the school’s dress code.
Videos surfaced online of Valentino Jimenez being handcuffed by police after being told to remove his bandanna. The teen said he was walking back from lunch when an officer approached him about his attire on Aug 10.
“The officer came up to me and wanted to have a talk with me, he asked me about the bandanna and I said, ‘what’s wrong with it?’ He said, ‘the color.’ I said, ‘what do you mean? That kid’s wearing a bandanna.’ He says, ‘that’s the American flag.’ I said, ‘what’s the difference?’ She told me we can’t wear bandanas at all,” Jimenez explained to CBS 5.
The incident began when one of the student’s teachers told him to take off his headpiece. Jimenez told her no and said he wears his bandanna all of the time. He said that’s when his teacher threatened to call the police.
“I was like, ‘well if the first thing you think of is to call the police then you might as well just do that because it must be that urgent for you to call the police, I must be making such a big scene that you need to call the police so go ahead,’ and then I walked away from her,” the high school senior said.
In the video, Jimenez is seen walking back on campus after lunch and is confronted by an officer who talks to him about removing his bandanna. The teen replied, “Why don’t you just take me out now and save yourself the trouble, bro.”
The officer yells out to the crowd of students surrounding him, “It has nothing to do with the color of his skin. It’s not me harassing him. All he’s doing is wearing a bandanna, which you’re not allowed to do on campus, OK? Don’t wear a bandanna, that’s it.”
The high school senior refused to remove his headband. Officers then grab his arms, place him in handcuffs and escort him off campus.
Jimenez said, “I could’ve took (sic) off the bandana, I really could’ve. But at the end of the day, they tried to tell me I couldn’t be me, knowing damn well I wear that bandana all the time,” Jimenez said. “It was kind of humiliating if you think about it, in front of everybody, me getting arrested and they try to make it look like I did something so bad, you know?”
The senior and four other students were arrested during the incident.
Apache Junctions claimed students violated the dress code, but the policy doesn’t mention bandannas which made students feel the arrests were racially motivated.
Principal Angela Chomokos emailed the following letter to student’s family, “The refusal to respond to a reasonable request escalated to a point where some students were confusing the wearing of the bandanna with defiance and disorderly behavior.”
And you guys ask why I don’t like going to school this type of stuff happens @ajhs this guy was just wearing a bandana and he gets arrested? Nah that ain’t right.
Posted by Fernando Balganon on Friday, August 10, 2018