Seventh Grader and Sister Expelled from School Over Patriotism

In a clear example of administrative overreach, a seventh grader named Jimmy Heyward and his sisters were expelled from Saint Bonaventure Catholic School in California following a contentious dispute centered on a speech advocating for patriotism. The incident has ignited a national debate about free speech, school governance, and the limits of administrative authority.

The controversy began when Heyward sought election as the Commissioner of School Spirit and Patriotism. His campaign speech, which emphasized his love for America and the importance of understanding the Pledge of Allegiance, was deemed inappropriate by Principal Mary Flock. Flock demanded that all references to patriotism be removed, claiming they were unsuitable for the context.

Heyward’s defiant refusal to censor his speech led to his public humiliation. He was forced to sit silently on stage while other candidates delivered their speeches. This act of silencing drew immediate backlash from students, parents, and observers who viewed it as a blatant violation of Heyward’s right to free expression.

The principal’s heavy-handed tactics didn’t stop there. When Heyward’s father protested the decision, the school administration called the police, further escalating the situation. Although law enforcement allowed Heyward’s father to remain at the event, the damage was done. The incident underscored what many see as an alarming trend of intolerance toward dissenting viewpoints within educational institutions.

Following the incident, a petition organized by Jimmy’s mother, Hattie Ruggles, called for Principal Flock’s removal. The petition highlighted the principal’s actions as not only unprofessional but also misaligned with the values of the school community. The overwhelming support for the petition culminated in Flock’s resignation, but the saga didn’t end there.

In a shocking twist, the school informed Heyward’s family that Jimmy and his sisters would not be allowed to return the following year. The official reason cited “serious violations of the Christian Code of Conduct and the Parent Electronic Communications Policy,” a move widely seen as retaliatory and vindictive. This decision has further fueled the outrage, with many accusing the school of attempting to stifle parental involvement and criticism.

“Finally heard from St. Bonaventure. This morning we received an email terminating Jimmy, Alice, and Livia from the school and will not allow them to return next year,” Ruggles wrote on Facebook. The letter from the school administration justified the expulsions as necessary to uphold a “safe, respectful, and supportive environment” for the school community.

This rationale is a flimsy pretext for what is essentially punitive action against a family for daring to stand up for their beliefs. The expulsions have drawn national attention, with many seeing them as emblematic of a broader cultural clash over free speech and institutional power.

Supporters of the Heyward family assert that schools should be places where diverse perspectives are welcomed and debated, not silenced and punished. They argue that this incident highlights the urgent need for policies that protect students’ rights to free expression, particularly when those expressions involve fundamental American principles like patriotism.

As the debate continues to unfold, the Heyward family plans to challenge the expulsions legally, setting the stage for what could be a pivotal case in the ongoing struggle over free speech in education. One thing is certain: the national conversation sparked by this incident is far from over, and its implications will resonate for years to come.

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Lots of support out here for the Heyward family, none for the Flock.


This kid was running for Commissioner of School Spirit and PATRIOTISM. American patriotism should be taught in schools especially Catholic schools. Either love this country or leave it.


Well, this is a “private” school. They have the right to set up rules and standards they want for their students. However, with it being a Catholic school, I doubt parents expected them to be putting a hard thumb on patriatism. Using catholic for this idiology is simply fraud. Parents should take their kids to a different private school and stop giving their hard earn money to this one.


All parents…

The Rebel

The Communist democrat controls are taking over many churches and religions.

Suppress the citizens——take their freedom, liberty, and guns !!!!


It’s the HIGHEST possible time to FIGHT BACK!!!!

MARXISTS like Mary Flock need to be SEVERELY disciplined for yet another attack upon people’s patriotism and overall love for their country!!! Ms. Flock and her supporters would be well-advised to emigrate to a Communist country, NEVER to return!!!


On top of that, if these kids leave this school, they should bring many other families with them. If they treat a family like this, they will do the same to others. The only way is to make them lose money – either fire Flock or many families leave. There HAS to be better schools around the area OR home schooling is the better choice and much less expensive. If the principal is like this, it makes you wonder what they are teaching these kids!


Good for Jimmy and his sisters! WHO was the adult in the room?? Certainly NOT the principal! More ignorance in education!!


Talk about a communist school. We NEED patriotism and kids like the Heyward’s family to stick up for our values, no matter where we live. God bless them for doing what they are doing!


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Last edited 1 month ago by Julia

His parents need to home school or private school their kids who are obviously too intelligent and patriotic for that school. Sue the Principal and get her fired. She should NOT be in charge of any kids’ educations.

Last edited 1 month ago by Gary
Happy Warrior

Sounds like a good old anti American Catholic school to me. They are popping up everywhere as they are being manned & run by a bunch of nincompoops.


Send a weekly collection envelope to the bishop with 1 penny and a note to him: “Allow my kids to be hurt, I will do this and tell EVERY Catholic to starve the diocese and parish.” Do the same every Sunday in the parish collection. Tell everyone… in the Catholic church, $$$$$ talks.