By Juli McDonald

GLOUCESTER (CBS) – Jackson Cody of Gloucester is in many ways a typical 12-year-old; he loves sports and is also passionate about politics.

“I just feel like our country wasn’t in a great place. I just wanted to learn more about Donald Trump because it seemed like he was making our country rise again and become America again,” the 7th grader said.

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He voiced that support for the president during a recent classroom discussion of the debate.

Jackson and Jay Cody (WBZ-TV)

“I raised my hand fully and a few kids were going to raise their hands but then they heard the teacher say to me, ‘Oh Mr. Jackson I thought I liked you.’ She proceeded to ask why I support a racist and a pedophile,” Jackson recalled.

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The family contacted a First Amendment rights attorney, and asked the school for an apology.

“We tell them to stand up for yourself and don’t be afraid to speak your opinion. Their opinions are theirs, they’re not our opinions. They’re very well read children. They like to educate themselves on their own topics. Unfortunately they do disagree with us very often,” Jackson’s father, Jay Cody added.

The teacher did apologize, and the O’Maley Middle School is facilitating some training for staff. The Codys are content this has started some important conversations at home and in school.

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“Everyone has the right to their own opinion and everyone should respect that,” Jackson said.

Juli McDonald