Some parents in Lake Ronkomkoma, New York were outraged when their daughter was allegedly forbidden from choosing President Donald Trump as her hero for a class project while another student was allowed to choose former President Barack Obama.
According to a report from Long Island News 12, sixth graders at Samoset Middle School were assigned a class project to choose one figure they looked up to as a hero. The students would then write up a report on why they believed the person they chose was a heroic figure.
Bella Moscato told her teacher that she wanted to do her report on the president, but she alleges that she wasn’t met with the same support other students received. She claims the teacher barred her from choosing President Trump for the project in front of her classmates and told her to find a new hero.
Sixth-grade student Bella Moscato was given a homework assignment where she was to write about who she considers a hero.
Bella picked Donald Trump.
Bella and her parents say the teacher forbid her from picking Trump but let another student pick Obamapic.twitter.com/NN8D6XxcmP
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) April 6, 2019
“She said that I wasn’t allowed to do Donald Trump because he spreads negativity and says bad stuff about women,” Moscato told News 12. “The thing I didn’t get is she was okay with someone doing Barack Obama, but not okay with doing Donald Trump. That’s what got me angry and I didn’t like that.”
Moscato’s parents were in disbelief when they heard that her request to write about President Trump was denied while another student was allowed to choose Obama as his or her hero.
Her father, Arthur Moscato spoke out about his daughter’s treatment at a school board meeting, telling the board, “My daughter’s hero is the president of our country. I can’t believe that anybody in the school would tell my daughter that something — that that guy can’t be her hero. I’m incensed by this.”
Her mother, Valarie Moscato called the incident “frustrating” and said that she believes her daughter should have had her First Amendment right to express her opinion protected in the school.
“It was really upsetting to me that she was trying to shut her down,” Valarie said.
The school’s superintendent Dr. Kenneth Graham claimed that the student wasn’t actually forbidden from choosing President Trump for the project. He released a statement claiming that Moscato’s story was “not accurate.”
However, the Moscato family told News 12 that this is an attempt to pin the story on their daughter, rather than address the teacher.
“My story is not inaccurate. My daughter didn’t lie,” Arthur said during the board meeting, adding, “No one should make a child feel that way.”
Many agreed with Moscato, with several people announcing support for the student’s project on Twitter.
— Adam Baldwin (@AdamBaldwin) April 7, 2019
This is insane. Good for this kid and these parents for standing up for her rights. What is happening to us? https://t.co/wXppXLu608
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) April 7, 2019
In response to the chaos, the school board announced that they would not be discussing the alleged incident in public, but they would be investigating to see what happened.