A Long Island sixth-grader says that her teacher told her that Donald Trump is not an appropriate choice for a class project about her personal hero and told her to pick someone else, News 12 is reporting.
Bella Moscato says that she has admired Donald Trump since she was 8-years-old, even going so far as to dress up as him for a third-grade class project. So when her sixth-grade class was assigned a project to write about their heroes, Bella was, of course, going to write about the 45th president.
However, the young lady says her teacher told her to pick someone else. What’s more, Bella claims that the teacher nixed her idea in front of another teacher and her entire class, rather than privately.
“[The teacher said that Trump] spreads negativity and says bad stuff about women.”
According to The Blaze, the unnamed teacher suggested an alternative: Barack Obama. That was the part that made her most angry, she says.
Bella’s mother, Valerie Moscato, says she believes her daughter’s First Amendment rights to free speech were violated by the teacher’s actions.
“My daughter has every right to do and pick a hero of her choice. It’s a First Amendment right, freedom of speech, freedom of expression. So it was really upsetting to me that [the teacher] was trying to shut her down.”
However, Sachem Central School District superintendent Dr. Kenneth Graham said in a statement that Bella and her parents’ version of events doesn’t square with what actually happened.
“It is not accurate that this student was told that they were not allowed to conduct research or report on any individual for a school assignment, including President Trump. To the best of our knowledge, by choice the student is still conducting their project of President Trump.”
At a recent school board meeting, Bella’s father, Arthur Moscato, said that Graham’s denial not only paints his daughter as a liar but is a deflection aimed at making Bella the bad guy in this narrative.
“My story was said to be unaccurate [sic] by you. My story was not unaccurate [sic]. My daughter didn’t lie.”
This is not the first time a public school teacher has been accused of being unfavorable to Donald Trump. In a case out of Dallas, however, there appears to be no ambiguity over whether or not the teacher actually did what they were accused of doing. As The Dallas Morning News reported at the time, art teacher Payal Modi was suspended in 2017 for allegedly pointing a water gun at a photo of Donald Trump and yelling “Die!” while shooting at it.