OKEMAH, Okla. — A 4-year-old was allegedly forced by his teacher to write with his right hand, even though he’s left-handed.
The child was sent home with a letter about how left-handedness is often associated with evil and the devil.
Zayde is only 4 years old.
It’s his first year at Oakes Elementary in Okemah, but his mom kept him home Monday after a dispute with his teacher over being left-handed.
Zayde, like most kids in Pre-K, is learning how to read and write. And like his mom, Alisha, Zayde is a lefty.
“From picking things up to throwing things, to batting, to writing, to just coloring you’d do at home with him, he’s always, always used his left hand,” Alisha Sands said.
That was until last week at homework time.
Alisha asked him why he was writing with his right hand, not his left.
“I just asked ‘Is there anything his teachers ever asked about his hands?’ And he raises this one and says this one’s bad,” Sands said.
Alisha sent the teacher a note and got a strong response.
It was an article calling left-handedness “unlucky,” “evil,” and “sinister.”
It even says “for example, the devil is often portrayed as left-handed.”
Picture of letter sent home with 4-year-old Zayde. Courtesy: Alisha
Alisha couldn’t believe it.
“It breaks my heart for him because someone actually believes that, believes my child is evil because he’s left handed, it’s crazy,” Sands said.
She went to the superintendent with the article.
“There was no suspension of any kind. There was basically nothing done to this teacher,” Sands says, “She told them she thought I needed literature on it.”
Zayde will likely transfer to another class just two months into the school year.
“I don’t feel like the school did what they were supposed to for him,” Sands said.
NewsChannel 4 called the school and were told the superintendent was out Monday, so they transferred us to the principal at Oakes Elementary.
She said she’s aware of the situation and the district is investigating. She hung up before we could ask any questions.
Sands is going to file a formal complaint with the Oklahoma Board of Education.