- Austen Mornes, of Lewisville, Texas, was allegedly given a Confederate flag hat by a volunteer coach of his Special Olympics flag football team.
- Mornes, who has autism, did not know what the hat meant and wasn’t familiar with its racist history.
- The 21-year-old’s mother, Amelia Mornes-Njokaj, was shocked to find out the coach gave her son the hat and has since taught him about the Confederacy.
The family of a young black man with autism is outraged after a volunteer Special Olympics flag football coach allegedly sent the 21-year-old home with a Confederate flag hat.
Austen Mornes, of Lewisville, Texas, was allegedly told to put the hat on and show it to his mother, according to CBS 11.
When Mornes, who has been on a Special Olympics flag football team in the Lewisville School district for eight years, asked the coach what the hat meant, he said the coach told him it meant “freedom.”
Lewisville ISD says it was wrong for one of its volunteer special olympics coaches to give a confederate flag hat to a black student athlete with autism who was unaware of its racially charged history. The student’s mother is outraged and speaks to CBS 11 News at 6pm pic.twitter.com/mJnMKTJRXy
— J.D. Miles (@jdmiles11) November 20, 2018
While Mornes didn’t know the racist history behind the hat’s design, his mother was shocked to see him with it when he came home from practice on November 15.
“Everybody just kind of went into an uproar because he comes in wearing this hat like it’s just a regular hat,” his mother, Amelia Mornes-Njoka, told CBS 11.
She added: “You trust these people with your kid who has a disability. You know and as far as I knew, I knew them well enough for my son to be around them without my supervision.”
She has since educated her son on the Confederate flag’s history and said she wants to know who is responsible for letting him wear the hat.
She said all three adult coaches for the Lewiston Independent School District’s Special Olympics flag football team are white.
The Lewiston ISD later released a statement to CBS 11 about the incident.
The statement said: “The adult volunteer, who is not an LISD employee, was wearing a cap the former student expressed interest in. The student took the cap home. The volunteer coach contacted the parents to discuss what happened, and believed the situation had been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. The adult volunteers with the Special Olympics are happy to speak directly with the family if concerns remain.”
Mornes, meanwhile, said that he might not return to practice because of the incident.
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