Sixth grade student Bella Moscato and her family have gone public after the middle schooler’s teacher assigned her class to write an essay on a person they consider a hero—and then rejected Bella’s proposal to write about President Donald Trump.
Bella is a student at Samoset Middle School, part of the Sachem Central School District located in Long Island, New York. According to the 11-year-old, who was interviewed with her parents by a local news channel, the teacher made no secret of her distaste for our current president.
That teacher, says Bella, rejected Trump as a subject of her essay “because he spreads negativity and says bad stuff about women.” According to Bella, this statement was made in front of the whole class as well as another faculty member. Her teacher then told her to pick a different individual to profile in her assignment.
“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,” Bella explained.
Bella’s parents brought the issue to a local school board meeting.
“My daughter’s hero is the president of our country. I can’t believe that anybody in the school would tell my daughter that that guy can’t be her hero. I’m incensed by this,” her father, Arthur Moscato, declared at the meeting. His comments were met with loud applause.
Her mother, Valarie Moscato, spoke up too: “This was really frustrating to me because you know my daughter has every right to do and pick a hero of her choice…so it was really upsetting to me that [the teacher] was trying to shut her down.”
School superintendent Dr. Kenneth Graham attempted to rebut the accusations. “It is not accurate that this student was told that they were not allowed to conduct research or report on any individual for a school assignment, including President Trump,” he claimed in a statement. “To the best of our knowledge, by choice the student is still conducting their project on President Trump.”
But as Bella’s father Arthur told the crowd assembled at the school board meeting, this statement, not his daughter’s story, is the lie. Addressing Superintendent Graham directly, the father stated, “And I’m incensed that my story was said to be inaccurate, by you. My story is not inaccurate. My daughter didn’t lie. No one should make a child feel that way. And you’re supposed to protect my child.” His statements received further applause from the audience.
The one fact that Superintendent Graham apparently got right is that Bella is still writing her essay on President Trump, despite her teacher’s objections. “Because Donald Trump is my hero,” she explained.
The school board claimed they could not comment on the matter at a public meeting but promised to investigate. At last report, the Moscatos are still waiting for an apology from the teacher and school district.