Long Island sixth-grader Bella Moscato wants to discuss why “Donald Trump is my hero,” but her teacher at Samoset Middle School thinks the 45th president “spreads negativity and says bad stuff about women,” she said.
The 11-year-old from Lake Ronkonkoma told News 12 her teacher asked students to fill out a worksheet titled “What is A Hero To You?” then nixed her choice because she doesn’t like Trump.
An 11-year-old girl named Bella Moscato was not allowed to have President Donald Trump as her hero for a class assignment.
Teachers should do their jobs and teach students instead of pushing their political opinions on them.
— Rafaello J. Carone 🇺🇸 (@raficarone_21) April 5, 2019
“She said that I wasn’t allowed to do Donald Trump because he spreads negativity and says bad stuff about women,” she said, adding that other students and teachers witnessed the rejection.
“What I didn’t get, she was ok with somebody doing Barack Obama, but not ok with Donald Trump?” Moscato said. “That’s what got me angry. I didn’t like that.”
Moscato’s parents demanded an apology from the Sachem Central School District at a recent board meeting, but so far have received only a public statement from the superintendent alleging their daughter is a liar.
Superintendent Kenneth Graham issued a statement to News 12 alleging “it is not accurate that this student was told that they were not allowed to conduct research on any individual for a school assignment, including President Trump.
“To the best of our knowledge, by choice the student is still conducting their project of President Trump,” Graham wrote.
“My daughter’s hero is the president of our country,” Moscato’s father, Arthur Moscato, said proudly to a loud applause at the recent board meeting. “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.”
“I’m incensed that my story was said to be unaccurate, by you,” he said. “My story isn’t unaccurate. My daughter didn’t lie.”
Moscato’s mother, Valerie Moscato, elaborated for News 12.
“This was really frustrating to me because, you know, my daughter has every right to do and pick a hero of her choice. It’s her First Amendment right, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, so it was really upsetting to me that she was trying to shut her down,” she said.
The news station’s video from the interview makes it clear the youngster isn’t going to let her teacher’s political bias stand in her way. The worksheet asked students how they define a hero, and Moscato wrote “a person who saves people. Somebody who puts their life on the line to save someone.”
A hero’s qualities include “brave, kind, loyal and confident,” she wrote.
When prompted to “provide one example of a real life hero from the past or present,” Moscato wrote “Donald Trump winning the presidency.”
“What positive contribution has this person made to society?” the worksheet asked.
Moscato wrote: “Donald Trump has helped millions of people by creating a great economy. He is fighting every day to protect people from drugs crossing the border.”
District board members had little to say when confronted about the incident, News 12 reports, but at least one promised to “look into it.”