An employee of a Texas high school allegedly threatened an Hispanic teenager with deportation for failing to address a staffer as “sir,” CBS News reports.
The incident seems to have begun over a dress-code violation, according to the teen’s mother. The 14-year-old student showed up for class without a belt at the Lancaster Independent School District’s Obama 9th Grade Center. For that, he was put into in-school detention.
It was there that the alleged interaction with a staffer occurred. It seems as though the boy responded with “yeah” instead of “yes, sir,” and for that, the boy’s mother says, the staffer decided to “teach him a lesson.”
“He told him, ‘Even though you are a citizen, Trump is working on a law where he can deport you, too, because of your mom’s status,'” the mother said.
The mother says that she and her son are both in the U.S. legally. However, the woman did not give her name, for fear of retaliation, so it’s impossible to confirm her immigration status.
Further, the staffer allegedly showed the boy a coin with an image of an eagle, the words “Office of Intelligence,” and the letters “ICE” in all-caps. “ICE” is the abbreviation for “Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
The mother says that when she came to the school looking for answers, she was shown the coin that the unnamed staffer allegedly showed her son.
“Basically, he was afraid. You show him this ICE thing. He doesn’t know what that is. All he knows, he knows what’s going on right now,” the mother said.
In a statement made available via Dallas’ KTVT, a Lancaster Independent School District spokesperson said that the staffer involved has been placed on administrative leave.
“We are working to gather all of the information so that we can conduct a thorough investigation… Lancaster ISD does not support nor will we tolerate behavior that promotes division. Our district takes pride in being an inclusive district that puts students first regardless of their background,” the statement read.
This is not the first time that a school official has allegedly threatened to deport a student, invoking Donald Trump in the process. As The Mercury News reported at the time, in November 2016, an Oak Grove High School PE teacher in San Jose, California allegedly told a student that he or she would be deported after they refused to stand for the national anthem. The teacher was later placed on paid administrative leave.