A female high school student in Michigan reports that that she was assaulted by a male teacher when she wore a metal pin to school voicing her support for President Donald Trump.
Sadie Earegood is a junior who attends Mason High in Mason, Michigan. But when the 16-year-old wore her “Women For Trump” pin to school, she was confronted by an angry male teacher who “aggressively” grabbed the pin and detached it from her jacket.
The teacher, who has been identified as media technology teacher Paul Kato, first confronted Sadie, saying he didn’t like her pin. “That’s fine, you don’t have to like it, we can have our opinions,” she responded. But the teacher was not willing to let the matter go.
“He grabbed it and I pulled, I tried to push his hand away and he grabbed my shoulder,” she described in an interview with a local news channel “(He) just kind of put his hand there, and then he started pulling more and more and I just started backing up.”
The teacher then “took both hands and unlatched the pin from my jacket and put it upside down on his shirt and said it belongs upside down,” Sadie explained. The incident occurred during school hours on December 5.
“He had no right to put his hands on my child over a pin or anything else,” said Sadie’s mother, Capi Earegood, who was very upset about the incident. “The First Amendment gives everyone the right to express their freedom of speech. No one should get that upset about someone wearing a political pin.”
“I was really shocked that a teacher especially would do that,” Sadie added, noting that “I just want him to know that it’s not okay to do that. I want this to be learning experience for other teachers. And I’m not going to stop wearing my political stuff.”
Sadie’s family filed a police report charging the teacher with criminal assault and larceny, but the Ingham County Prosecutors Office declined to file assault charges against the teacher claiming there was no credible evidence of criminal conduct.
The school district conducted an investigation and released a statement which read in part, “Following an investigation by the Mason Police Department, the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office declined to press criminal charges in the matter. Mason Public Schools officials have completed their internal investigation and have disciplined the teacher appropriately.”
“While not criminal, the teacher’s actions were inappropriate and misrepresented the mission of the district,” added Ronald Drzewicki, Mason Public Schools Superintendent. “MPS staff are role models. Our core values include respect, responsibility and compassion. We expect all MPS staff to model these values in interactions at school, especially with students.”
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