Zayde is four years old and, like most children his age, is learning to read and write. He’s a Pre-K student at Oakes Elementary School in Okemah, Oklahoma (Population 3223).
And his teacher says he’s evil. That’s because Zayde is left-handed – whether he’s throwing, batting, coloring or doing anything else a typical young child does.
But one night last week, his mother Alisha Sands watched him struggle to complete his homework while writing with his right hand. She asked him whether there was anything his teachers ever asked about his being left-handed. Zayde immediately raised that arm and said “This one’s bad.”
Alisha sent a note expressing her concern to the school, and she received a strong response. It was an article calling left-handedness “unlucky, evil and sinister.” For example, it further alleged, “the devil is often portrayed as left-handed.”
“It breaks my heart for him because someone actually believes that, believes my child is evil because he’s left-handed. It’s crazy,” Sands said.
She took the material to the school superintendent, expecting some sort of disciplinary action to be taken against the teacher. But there was none.
“There was no suspension of any kind. There was basically nothing done to this teacher,” Sands says. “She told them she thought I needed literature on it.”
Frustrated by the lack of cooperation, Alisha – who also happens to be left-handed – kept Zayde home and intends to ask that he be transferred to another class just two months into the school year. She’s also going to file a formal complaint with the Oklahoma Board of Education.
“I don’t feel like the school did what they were supposed to for him,” Sands said.
So far, the superintendent’s office has issued no statement on the matter. The principal at Oakes Elementary says only that she’s aware of the situation and the district is investigating.
In the population as a whole, being left-handed is relatively rare. 70 to 90 per cent of children and adults develop right hand dominance. What are your thoughts on this teacher’s action? Let us know in the comments section below