California Catholic School Stops 13-Year-Old from Giving a ‘Patriotic Speech’


A student at a California Catholic middle school faced public embarrassment after the principal barred him from giving a speech on patriotism and later called the police on his father for confronting her.

His mother, Hattie Ruggles, stated in a petition that the principal, Mary Flock, instructed Jimmy to eliminate all references to patriotism from his speech, despite “Patriotism” being a part of the position’s title he was running for.

The speech included Jimmy advocating for students to honor the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, veterans, and other standard elements of American patriotism.

“My love for America motivates me to run,” the teen stated. “It is an honor to live in this country.”

A video of Jimmy delivering his full speech at home also shows him wearing a red hat emblazoned with “Make SBS [Saint Bonaventure School] Great Again.”

“Jimmy stood up to her and said he wasn’t going to remove the parts about patriotism,” Ruggles wrote on, calling for Flock’s dismissal. “She then informed him he would not be allowed to speak. Jimmy sat on stage with all the other candidates while they gave their speeches.”

“Mary Flock directed the kids hosting the rally to skip Jimmy entirely. He stayed on stage for an hour in front of his peers, teachers, and parents, feeling completely humiliated by Mary Flock,” the mother added.

The parents claimed that Jimmy was silenced because “his views didn’t align with theirs.”

Soon after, Flock called the Huntington Beach Police Department to the school to remove the upset father.

However, the responding officers spoke with Heyward and indicated he was “free to stay and watch with the rest of the families in attendance,” Ruggles reported in the petition.

“When the officers were leaving, they asked Ed to let Jimmy know that they said ‘Thank you’ for the things he wrote in his speech,” she added.

Screenshots of the alleged email obtained by Fox News show Flock explaining Jimmy was not allowed to speak because he did not edit the speech for approval and that the police were called to “ensure the safety and well-being of those present.”

“This incident highlights the importance of maintaining a respectful and inclusive environment within our school community,” the email stated.

Ruggles claims Flock misrepresented the situation in her message.

“This kind of behavior is unacceptable and does not align with the values we expect from our school’s leadership. We demand that Mary Flock be removed as principal immediately,” she wrote on

SBS reiterated their decision to prevent Jimmy from delivering his speech in a statement to Fox News.

St. Bonaventure Catholic School is dedicated to fostering a Catholic, Christ-centered learning environment that builds a community valuing respect and integrity. We encourage freedom of speech, recognizing that allowing students to express their thoughts and ideas is crucial for their growth and development. In line with this, our longstanding policy requires all student speeches delivered on campus to undergo an administrative approval process. This practice ensures that the content is appropriate, aligns with school values and our Christian Code of Conduct, and maintains a respectful tone. The process is applied uniformly to all students without exception. … If a speech does not receive final approval, we adhere to our established guidelines, which means the student will not be permitted to deliver the speech. In this recent case, school administrators felt encouraged by the words of patriotism but were discouraged by what is perceived as some negative comments and sought adjustments to make it more positive. … We understand the disappointment the recent situation may have caused. However, to preserve the integrity of St. Bonaventure School’s practices and its Christ-centered learning environment, we stand by our decision and our policies. We remain committed to maintaining a consistent and fair approach for all students.

In a follow-up Instagram post, Ruggles claimed several parents approached the family after the assembly to offer their support, stating they were “blown away” by the administration’s actions.

“This isn’t the first time this lady has done something like this,” the mom wrote, without elaborating.

Since it was posted Sunday, the petition to get Flock fired has garnered over 4,500 signatures.

Olivia Rondeau
Olivia Rondeau
Digital Reporter. Previously, Olivia was a contributor at the Daily Caller, a staff writer at Foundation for Economic Education, and a Pennsylvania Campus Correspondent at Campus Reform. Prior to that, she worked in social media, research, and public relations at Arsenal Media Group. Olivia is a political science major at the East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.

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