The South Portland High School student who says he was ostracized by classmates and teachers for wearing a Donald Trump hat in school reveled in the Republican presidential nominee’s appearance Thursday, sitting in a row of supporters behind the candidate during his speech at Merrill Auditorium in Portland.

Connor Mullen, a South Portland High School student who said students and staff members at the school ridiculed him for wearing a "Make America great again" hat, got a seat on the stage for Donald Trump's rally in Portland. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Connor Mullen, left, a South Portland High School student who said students and staff members at the school ridiculed him for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, got a seat on the stage for Donald Trump’s rally in Portland. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

“People were trying to silence me,” Connor Mullen said of the taunts he received for wearing his “Make America Great Again” hat at school. “Now, I’m sitting five feet from the man, so I’m not so silent now.”

Mullen, 16, was clearly visible just left of Trump on the stage during the hourlong speech.

Mullen said a member of the Maine Republican Party and someone from the Trump campaign arranged for him to join Trump on stage with other supporters.

Mullen, who wore his red and white pro-Trump hat to the rally, said he was introduced to Trump before it began.

“He looked me in the face and said, ‘I won’t forget about you and I look forward to seeing you on stage,'” the junior said Thursday night in a telephone interview.

After the rally, Mullen posed with Trump for a selfie, wearing his hat.

Mullen, who plans to continue wearing his Trump hat to school, was impressed with his candidate’s speech.

Connor Mullen poses in a selfie with Donald Trump after Thursday's rally. Photo courtesy Connor Mullen

Connor Mullen poses in a selfie with Donald Trump after Thursday’s rally.
Photo courtesy Connor Mullen

“I thought it was the presidential Donald Trump and not the Donald Trump who tends to get people riled up,” he said. “His tone, his voice, was perfect.”

Mullen thinks Trump has been advised to tone down his rhetoric.

Noting Trump’s focus and poise, he called the experience “breathtaking.”

As for the classmates who taunted him about the Trump hat, Mullen has a message for them.

“In a weird way, thank you. I got a giant experience out of it, but I’d say please don’t do it again, to anyone,” he said.