According to a lawsuit filed this week in Connecticut’s U.S. District Court, a high school student who remained seated during the Pledge of Allegiance was “mocked and shamed” for it by her teacher, causing her to suffer from “emotional distress and anxiety.”
The case involves the Waterbury Arts Magnet School and Italian language teacher Ralph Belvedere. The student and her mother Gina Humber claim that, multiple times in September and October of this year, students of color in Belvedere’s class chose not to stand for the Pledge in protest of “their belief that African-Americans suffer from racial discrimination in the United States.”
The proper response from a teacher would be to… just let them. Because why the hell not?
Belvedere allegedly took a different approach.
[Belvedere] mocked and shamed them by thanking and praising the students who have stood while accusing the plaintiff of being “dishonest” in her expression of belief. He has falsely accused the plaintiff of not doing her classwork and on one occasion brought another teacher into the classroom to lecture the students on their supposed lack of patriotism.
As a result, the plaintiff has been frightened and intimidated and has suffered emotional distress and anxiety.
Humber says she alerted the Waterbury Board of Education about all this, but they didn’t take any action to stop it. That’s why they’re filing this lawsuit. On the surface, it’s pretty clear cut. The school’s actions are indefensible. And to think all Belvedere had to do was shut up and stop mocking his students for not doing something they don’t have to do.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)