Okemah, OK — An apparently deranged pre-K teacher recently told a 4-year-old student to stop writing with his left hand because the teacher believes that left-handed people are associated with the devil. Instead of firing the teacher for referring to an innocent student as “evil,” the school superintendent refuses to even discipline the religious fanatic.
While watching her son doing his homework last week, Alisha Sands noticed that 4-year-old Zayde was using his right hand instead of his left. Curious about the change, Alisha asked her son if his teachers had ever said anything about his hands. After raising his left hand, Zayde responded, “This one’s bad.”
“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 recalled.
After writing a letter to Zayde’s pre-K teacher at Oakes Elementary School, Alisha received a strange response from his teacher who included an article regarding hand dominance. In the article, Dr. Donna D’Allesandro explains:
“In many western cultures, right-handedness was/is considered the ‘correct’ or ‘right’ hand to use, and left-handedness was unlucky, inauspicious or frankly evil. The word ‘sinister,’ meaning left-sided, derives from various sources as early as the 15th century. There are numerous instances of left-handedness being associated with wickedness. For example, the devil is often portrayed as left-handed, and people throw salt over their left shoulder to ward off the evil spirits that dwell there.”
Instead of understanding the historical context of an obvious superstition, Zayde’s teacher interpreted this article as medical evidence that reaffirms her distorted religious views. Like other controversial theological issues, though, being left-handed is not a choice.
“It breaks my heart for him because someone actually believes that, believes my child is evil because he’s left handed, it’s crazy,” Alisha, who is also a lefty, told KFOR.
Although Alisha complained and took the article to the school superintendent, no disciplinary action was taken against the teacher for insulting her son. Instead of encouraging Zayde to develop his motor skills with whichever hand he feels more comfortable using, his pre-K teacher suggested that Alisha should read more literature on the subject of evil left hands.
“There was no suspension of any kind. There was basically nothing done to this teacher,” Alisha recalled. “She told them she thought I needed literature on it.”
On Monday, Alisha decided to keep Zayde home from class and began looking for a different school for her son. She also decided to file a formal complaint with the Oklahoma Board of Education.
“I don’t feel like the school did what they were supposed to for him,” Alisha said.