A California teacher was recently caught on camera verbally attacking a student for wearing a “Thin Blue Line” face mask. The 13 year old eighth-grader claims that he wore the mask in honor of his father who is a police officer.
The confrontation took place earlier in the week at Lyman Gilmore Middle School in Grass Valley, California. The yet-unnamed substitute teacher started shouting at Lucas Lillar, for wearing a Thin Blue Line mask during his math class.
Other students in the class recorded the teacher attacking the teen for his choice of face mask. The teacher argued with the student, claiming that honoring law enforcement is “not American.” The teacher added: “That’s not the American flag that’s the new confederacy flag.”
The middle school student claims to have worn the same mask last week with the same teacher, but no altercation occurred. Lillar claims that the teacher first confronted him about the mask this week. He explained that the math teacher took an empty desk behind him and started arguing.
“I never had someone talk to me like that, yell at me in my face, especially a teacher,” said Lillar to KOVR.
Lillar’s mother, Amanda McCallum, said that she felt “heartbroken” and “angry” over the incident. She added that she was “mind-blown” at the teacher’s behavior and said that “these types of things should never be in the classroom.”
“These topics need to be left at the door. The school is meant to educate our children in a safe environment and I don’t feel like this was a safe environment, but it needs to be. We are entrusting these people of authority, these teachers with our children,” said McCallum. “We are in a time where we are so divided that we need to learn to be kind and respect each other.”
Lucas wears his face mask in support of his father and stepmother, both of whom are law enforcement officers.
After McCallum informed school administrators about the situation, the substitute teacher was suspended, with Lyman Gilmore’s principal assuring her that the sub would never be allowed to teach at that school again.
Grass Valley School District Superintendent Andrew Withers explained that California law allows for “immediate dismissal of a substitute teacher.” He added that the school “expects all educators to perform their duties with utmost respect and professionalism.”
Scott W. Lay of the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools said that The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing that governs educator credentials “will be informed of this incident.”
Author: Helen White