Prestigious La Jolla Country Day School tells student to remove ‘offensive’ MAGA hat
LA JOLLA (KUSI) – KUSI News has obtained an email sent to all staff from La Jolla County Day’s Head of School, Gary Krahn.
The controversy that emerged from Krahn’s email to LJCD staff is in regards to one of their students showing up to school wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.
Krahn’s email reads, “We also had a student wear a MAGA Hat today. I have talked with that student who now understands why that hat is offensive to our community. He will not wear it again. In addition his mom said that she is embarrassed by his actions. She will fulfill her role as a parent. We will continue to grow as a community that sees and values the dignity of all people.”
According to the school’s 2020-2021 Parent/Student Handbook, there is no rule against political attire in the school’s dress code. The dress code for the Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School can be read on pages 53-56 of the handbook that is available to read here. The dress code for Lower and Middle School students does not allow hats in the classroom, but on campus is permitted.
The email was written to share a draft of a letter Krahn was preparing to send to parents announcing that the school has “decided to have no on-campus classes the week after Thanksgiving.” The letter simply updates parents on the school’s “effective” safety protocols and what is going on in the local community, and country, in regards to the spread of coronavirus.
KUSI reached out to Krahn for comment, but has not heard back.
It is worth noting that La Jolla County Day is one of the most prestigious private schools in San Diego County. They have students from first grade through High School, with yearly tuition ranging from $16,650 all the way up to $37,130 for High School.
UPDATE 11/19/20: Gary Krahn released a video message explaining his decision to tell the student to remove his MAGA hat. LJCD reported a copyright violation on the video when we posted it to YouTube, but you can still watch it below:
The complete email to staff from the Head of School, Gary Krahn, is below:
A final version of the letter below will be going out to our community this afternoon. We have decided to have no on-campus classes the week after Thanksgiving. We will also test everyone during that week for greater safety when we return.
This decision will create some secondary complications (I am certain), but we will manage those.
We are working on the details.
We also had a student wear a MAGA Hat today. I have talked with that student who now understands why that hat is offensive to our community. He will not wear it again. In addition his mom said that she is embarrassed by his actions. She will fulfill her role as a parent. We will continue to grow as a community that sees and values the dignity of all people.
Dear LJCDS community,
Our school and our team continue to adapt as new COVID-19 information evolves in our county, state and nation. The contents of this update are important, so please read the entire email closely.
Our current COVID-19 protocols have proven to be effective, and there is no evidence thus far that the virus has been transferred on campus. However, the spread of the disease is rapidly expanding throughout our nation and community, and statistics support that COVID-19 cases will be present on our campus. We will continue to rely on our on-campus protocols, policies and procedures to help us identify both asymptomatic and symptomatic cases, prevent the transmission of the disease, and shape a remarkable learning environment for our community.
1) E-Learning After Thanksgiving
Out of an abundance of caution, LJCDS will transition to e-learning for all divisions (ECC, LS, MS, US) for one week upon return from Thanksgiving break (November 30–December 4). Please note that this is not an extended vacation.
Our responsibility as a school requires constant attention and adaptation as we balance the benefits of on-campus experiences with the possible risk of contributing to the spread of the virus within our community. Most infectious disease experts tell us that we will likely see a spike in the disease two weeks after Thanksgiving in communities that do not take the necessary precautions.
The e-learning week provides the time to schedule a COVID-19 test for every student, faculty and staff member before returning to campus. It also reduces the number of on-campus learning missed by the students who must quarantine after their Thanksgiving travels.
Division heads and teachers will be in contact with students to coordinate the online experience. On the day your child is tested, they will have a half-day of online learning to allow for time to travel to campus for a PCR test.
2) Schedule for COVID-19 Test after Thanksgiving
Students in the in-person learning mode must complete a COVID-19 test before arriving on campus the week of December 7. LJCDS will host a testing clinic from November 30 through December 4, 2020. The schedule with the testing times for each grade will be shared in the coming days.
If you wish to complete a COVID-19 test through your medical provider during the week of November 30–December 4, please provide us with a copy of your child’s COVID test results by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) New Travel Advisory — Self-Quarantine
Governor Newsom has directed that people who conduct non-essential travel outside of California should self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving back to California. We expect compliance from every member of our community.
Thanksgiving may be a challenging time to minimize your exposure to others, but your efforts to stay physically isolated help all of us. We hope you can find creative ways to give thanks and to keep you, your family, and ultimately, our community safe.
Fulfilling our responsibility as thoughtful and informed citizens has never been more important. Our children observe what we do. Inspiring Greatness for a Better World is expected of every member of our community.
4) Planning Ahead
After winter break and spring break, LJCDS will implement a similar plan as shared above. Please plan for:
- E-learning to occur the week we return, January 4–8 and April 12–16
- PCR testing will be conducted during the e-learning week
- The e-learning week is not an extended vacation
5) Final Thoughts
We have never doubted our safety protocols during this pandemic. Our faculty and staff have shown the ability and desire to serve our students under all circumstances. Moving to online learning during the week of November 30–December 4 is fulfilling our responsibility of thoughtfully adapting procedures to create a safer community.
We hope the plan above confirms your confidence in the protocols that allow us to provide the education and safety your child and family deserve during the pandemic. As always, if you have questions or thoughts, my door is always open (virtually). Thank you for your continued support and flexibility.
Gary W. Krahn
Head of School
La Jolla Country Day School
9490 Genesee Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 453-3440 ext. 240
Pronouns: he, him, his
Please visit Torreys Together Online to learn more about how LJCDS is making a difference during this extraordinary time.