11-year-old Bella Moscato, a sixth-grade student at Samoset Middle School in Lake Ronkomkoma, New York, has reported that her teacher refused to allow her to use President Trump for a class project on heroes.
According to Moscato’s mother, Valerie, her teacher said President Trump “speed negativity and says bad stuff about women” while telling the young girl she could not pick him as her hero for the assignment.
Valerie Moscato noted that the teacher allowed another student to use former President Barack Obama, and said “This was really frustrating to me, because my daughter has every right to do and pick a hero of her choice.”
The family has since pushed back after the school district said their claims were untrue.
From The Hill:
A student in Lake Ronkomkoma, N.Y., said her sixth-grade teacher told her she wasn’t allowed to pick President Trump as her hero for a class assignment because he “spreads negativity and says bad stuff about women.”
Valerie Moscato told News 12 Long Island last week that her 11-year-old daughter, Bella, had wanted to choose the president as her hero for the project.
Bella Moscato had dressed up as Trump for a project in the third-grade but told the outlet that she faced pushback from her current teacher at Samoset Middle School.
The student said her teacher told her Trump “spread negativity and says bad stuff about women” before instructing her to pick another hero.
The comment was reportedly made in front of another teacher and students in class.
“The thing I didn’t get, she was OK with somebody doing Barack Obama,” the sixth grader told News 12. “But not OK with doing Donald Trump?”
“That’s what got me angry,” she added.
Valerie Moscato said her daughter called her from school after the incident, which the mother described as intimidation and censorship.
“This was really frustrating to me because my daughter has every right to do and pick a hero of her choice,” she told the local outlet. “It’s her First Amendment right — freedom of speech, freedom of expression.”
“So it was really upsetting to me that she was trying to shut her down,” Valerie Moscato said of the teacher.
“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,” Dr. Kenneth Graham, the superintendent of the Sachem Central School District, said in a statement to News 12.
Graham added that, to the district’s knowledge, Bella Moscato was still conducting her hero project on the president.
Arthur Moscato confronted the school board about the issue during a meeting last week, saying the superintendent’s statement was wrong.
“My story is not inaccurate, my daughter didn’t lie,” Arthur Moscato said. “No one should make a child feel that way, and you’re supposed to protect my child.”
The Hill has reached out to the school district for comment.