A teacher at Clovis East High School in California allegedly told an American-born female student “go back to your country” after she sat during the Pledge of Allegiance on Feb. 7.
According to a school incident report obtained by The Fresno Bee, 14-year-old Thailia Luna claimed that teacher Ken Dias took her cellphone phone after she refused to stand during the pledge: “He repeatedly told me I was a disgrace and continuously yelled at me across the classroom from his desk.”
Luna, who is Hispanic and Laotian, said she refused to stand for the pledge because of racism in the country:
I know that racism is a big issue right now and that so many people are not being treated equally in a land of the “free”… We want to be the change in how the world perceives us minorities. We are not too young to want to make a difference.
Dias, who was a finalist Fresno County’s teacher of the year in 2016 and a winner in 2015 of Clovis Unified’s highest employee award, would not comment.
KFSN reports that the school would not comment, but Diaz was not teaching on campus on Feb. 8 or 9.
Tiffany Trang, a senior at the school, took to Twitter on Feb. 11 to call for students to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance this week “to combat the issue of racism that clearly exists” throughout Clovis Unified:
Last Wednesday, Mr. Dias, an AG teacher @ East scolded a student for not standing during the Pledge of Allegiance then told the student to “go back to Mexico”. He was out Thurs & Fri, but is coming back to school on Tuesday.