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A sixth-grade teacher in Tacoma, Wash., was caught shaming one of his students during an online instruction period after the 10-year-old wrote that he admires President Donald Trump.
The incident, first reported by Seattle talk radio host Jason Rantz, involved Brendan Stanton, a middle school teacher at P.G. Keithley Middle School, who asked his students to write in a chat room who they admired and why. Rantz said that Stanton asks his students a question every day to kick off their instruction.
After the student logged on for classes Friday, he saw Stanton’s question: “Who is the one person you admire and why?”
Students were asked to write their answers in an online chat room. According to a screenshot, the boy wrote: “I admire Donald J. Trump because he is making America great again. And because he is the best president the United States of America could ever, ever have. And he built the wall so terrorists couldn’t come into in the U.S. Trump is the best person in the world. And that’s why I had admire him.”
At that, Stanton reportedly nearly booted the student out of the chat room, deleted the chat, and then began to level an attack against President Trump while chastising the student for bringing up the president.
The student then immediately informed his mother, Elsy Kusander, Rantz said.
Kusander said she went to the room where her son was online for his classes and heard Stanton blasting the president. At that point, she began recording the comments on her phone.
“The example that was shared in the chat, which I went ahead and erased for us, was not appropriate right? Especially as that individual has created so much division and hatred between people and specifically spoken hatred to many different individuals, OK?” Stanton said.
“Again, that individual has spoken hate to many individuals and I don’t think is an appropriate example for a role model that we should be admiring,” the teacher continued.
“How can a teacher be teaching to his students horrible things about the president of the country without facts?” Kusander told Rantz.
Kusander said she demanded a phone call with Stanton following the incident and he called in the afternoon.
According to Rantz, normally online classes are recorded and posted online for students and parents to access, but Stanton did not record that segment of the Friday, he said, citing student privacy. In his conversation with the mother, Stanton did not fully explain what had taken place, perhaps because, as Rantz suggested, he did not know that Kusander had recorded the exchange on her phone.
Stanton says he told students to choose a computer programmer they admired and if they couldn’t think of anyone they could cite someone in their community.
“Donald Trump would not fit that prompt … just because it was a little bit off-topic,” Stanton told Kusander, according to an audio of the phone call.
The mother then informed the teacher she had been videoing the exchange, which then led Stanton to claim that he deleted her son’s post because someone else was allegedly offended by it.
Stanton then claimed he doesn’t bring politics into classes.
“My perspective has nothing to do with Donald Trump himself, right? I try to keep politics out of the classroom,” he said.
Eventually, Kusander informed Stanton that she had recorded the entire exchange.
“I came into the room, and you were talking, I got my phone and I recorded part of your conversation. I clearly saw and recorded what you were saying,” she said.
“I do apologize if my words were not perfect at the time,” Stanton said. “If I used … if I said that Trump was ‘hateful and divisive,’ that may have been what I used at the time, but my purpose was in bringing us back to the conversation of computer scientists and the positive role that they’ve played in our history.”
In an interview Monday with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, the host asked why parents put up with what appeared to have been blatant political persecution.
“They put up with it because they don’t really know, they didn’t know what was going on,” Rantz said, adding that in the online learning environment, parents get to see such exchanges.
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