A high-school teacher in Illinois has been fired after chastising more than once a student who would not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Vince Ziebarth, a popular driver’s ed teacher, confronted 15-year-old Shemar Cooper multiple times after Cooper refused to stand for the Pledge. The first incident, according to local news, took place in September of last year. Ziebarth believes that “the Pledge is a sacred thing,” so he decided to admonish Cooper for sitting. Ziebarth was reprimanded and told not to talk with Cooper about it again, but that warning didn’t stick.
About a month ago, Ziebarth told Cooper he would not drive with him if he did not stand for the Pledge. The school decided only a few weeks later to fire Ziebarth, but other students at the school were not happy. Many started a petition to bring back the beloved teacher, and Cooper’s mom, Kelly Porter, says some students were exceptionally rude to Cooper after Ziebarth was fired.
Porter believes that “adults should not behave that way,” referring to Ziebarth’s actions. “That’s really childish for him to say my son’s behaviors … let me correct myself, my son’s First Amendment right to sit doesn’t align with his beliefs.”