A male high school teacher is on paid, non-disciplinary leave after yanking a political pin off a female student’s clothing. Her pin was a Women for Trump pin. Trump Derangement Syndrome is alive and well in a Michigan high school.
Sadie Earegood, a 16-year-old junior at Mason High in Mason, Michigan, claims a teacher was so triggered by her Women for Trump campaign pin that he initiated a physical altercation with her. Media technology teacher Paul Kato started the altercation by telling Earegood that he didn’t like her pin. She replied, “That’s fine you don’t have to like it, we can have our opinions.” That should have been the end of it but, no, the teacher, she alleges, got physical with her.
Earegood described a struggle between herself and the teacher where he tried to take the pin off her.
“He grabbed it and I pulled and I tried to push his hand away and he grabbed my shoulder, just kind of put his hand there, and then he started pulling more and more and I just started backing up.”
She said the teacher then put the pin, upside down on his shirt, and stated that it belonged that way.
A grown man in a position of power over a teenage high school student physically attacked her because he didn’t like her political pin. Let that sink in for a second. She was so alarmed that she had to physically defend herself – she tried to push his hand away as he went toward her chest. He got his way with her – he grabbed the pin off her chest. He didn’t just confiscate the pin, though. He put it on his own shirt, upside down and told her that was how it should be worn.
This brutish man needs to be named and shamed. Earegood acted respectfully in the beginning by mentioning the two could have a difference of opinion. Kato, the adult in the situation, escalated from there. His behavior is unacceptable. A grown man angrily grabbing at a teenage girl’s chest deserved a knee to his groin if you ask me. He was out of control.
Sadie’s mother took appropriate action – she filed a report against Kato with the school, who contacted the Mason Police Department. She did what she could to protect her child. The police department is investigating her claim. The department issued a statement confirming that an investigation has been opened but no further comments would be forthcoming, due to a student being involved.
“I made a criminal assault and larceny report against the teacher,” said Capi Earegood, Sadie’s mother. “He had no right to put his hands on my child over a pin or anything else. 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.”
Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki said Kato is on paid, non-disciplinary leave pending the results of the criminal investigation. An internal school investigation is also being conducted.
The dress code for Mason High School does not address political paraphernalia. “Clothing that displays alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gang association, weapons, sexual or suggestive references, profanity, violence, intimidation or organizations promoting any of these are not appropriate.” Her political pin didn’t violate the students’ right to free expression, either.
It also states that: the School recognizes the right of students to express themselves. With the right of expression comes the responsibility to do it appropriately. Students may distribute or display, at appropriate times, non-sponsored, non-commercial written material and petitions; buttons, badges, or other insignia; clothing, insignia, and banners; and audio and video materials.
All items must meet the following school guidelines: A. A material cannot be displayed if it: 1. is obscene to minors, libelous, indecent and pervasively or vulgar, 2. advertises any product or service not permitted to minors by law, 3. intends to be insulting or harassing, 4. intends to incite fighting or presents a likelihood of disrupting school or a school event. 5. Presents a clear and present likelihood that, either because of its content or manner of distribution or display, it causes or is likely to cause a material and substantial disruption of school or school activities, a violation of school regulations, or the commission of an unlawful act.
Sadie will persist. “I just want him to know that it’s not okay to do that. I want this to be a learning experience for other teachers, and I’m not going to stop wearing my political stuff.”
The teacher, Mr. Kato, is originally from Nigeria. He worked for 10 years to establish a residential soccer school there. The school opened in 2018. The teacher/coach has anger management issues that need to be addressed. He is not entitled to put his hands on a female student simply because he doesn’t like her political button.