West Hartford, Connecticut residents Theodore and Sonia Mancini say their son, Michael, was recently expelled from their state’s oldest boarding school for daring to express conservative views in class.
Michael Mancini was attending Cheshire Academy — founded in 1794 — when he found himself in a debate with his classmates about William Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night.”
Michael’s parents told the New York Post this week that their son pushed back against claims that Shakespeare was putting a positive light on transgenderism in his story. Michael’s argument was that transgenderism was frowned upon during Shakespeare’s lifetime and not looked at with any sort of positive light until the 1900s — the play was written in the 1600s.
Michael’s father, Theodore, said an argument ensued and set off a chain of events with two other students that led to Michael being expelled from the school.
Michael’s parents have filed a notice of claim with the school — a precursor to a lawsuit — where they detail the events that led to their son being shunned by his school.
Cheshire Academy Head of School Julie Anderson and Wesley Simon, a dean at the school, are named as defendants, along with the school itself.
One of the things the Mancinis claim Cheshire cited as a reason for Michael’s expulsion were viewpoints the young man expressed in a private conversation with a teacher.
Discussing Shakespeare’s previously mentioned play with the teacher, Michael said he was “fine with homosexuals being married,” but was against churches or religious institutions conducting the actual ceremonies.
Another incident reportedly cited by the school was a joke Michael told while attending a mandatory Martin Luther King workshop.
Asked to say something obvious about his identity, Michael — who is white — said, “Obviously, I am black.” The joke earned laughter from fellow students.
The notice of claim from Michael’s parents say the student was suspended for five days for his “politically incorrect views.”
Theodore Mancini said he sent his son to the school because he was under the impression that the institution invited open discussions and differing viewpoints.
“It was sold as a place that allowed open discussions with all points of view and that everyone would be given equal treatment,” he said. “And that’s not what it ended up being. [Michael] got cited for facts he brought up, and he got cited for a private conversation he had with a teacher.”
The boarding school costs a whopping $62,000 a year to attend. Michael was recruited in July of 2018 to play football. He was a sophomore before being expelled.
Source: Fox News
Michael’s father says his son is not the only one fighting against intolerance at his school. Theodore Mancini also says his son’s expulsion came after he set up a website detailing the family’s issues with Cheshire Academy.
“Michael is not the only kid at Cheshire who has these pints of view, he’s just the only kid there who refuses to kowtow to these people,” he said. “It was a simply discussion in English class that was right out of established publications, and they claimed he harassed them for citing facts. They tried to get him to say he was wrong, but he wasn’t. He had the facts.”
The Mancinis will be filing a lawsuit against Cheshire Academy next week.
“It’s a precious thing to have competing ideas,” the family’s lawyer, Jamie Sullivan, told the Post. “We should have a healthy fear of an autocratic, monolithic government or school.”
Michael’s school has yet to comment publicly on the matter of their expelled student, but Head of School Julie Anderson reportedly told parents in a letter that Michael was expelled after a “fair process.”
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