Illinois teacher fired for ‘bullying’ student who sat for the Pledge

An Illinois teacher is out of a job after allegedly chastising a student who didn’t stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.

In September, Vince Ziebarth, a driver’s ed teacher at Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, reprimanded Shemar Cooper, 15, for his stance (or lack thereof). WREG reported the issue was brought up months later—with Ziebarth telling the student two weeks ago that he wouldn’t drive with him if he continued to sit.

“I believe the Pledge is a sacred thing,” Ziebarth told WGN.

The teen’s mother, Kelley Porter Turner, reached out to the school after her son said the instructor wouldn’t let the matter go.

“If my son didn’t say anything to me, (Ziebarth) would have continued—that’s bullying,”  Turner told the Chicago Tribune.

Ziebarth claimed he thought the ordeal was settled as Cooper picked one of the seven other teachers to drive with.

“We had an understanding. He was making a choice, and I was making a choice. His name never appeared on my sign-up sheet again, so I thought it was over,” he told the station.

The teacher, who worked for high school since 2014, claimed he was blindsided when he was fired on March 16 for making “inappropriate comments” to the student.

This isn’t the first time an Eisenhower teacher was reprimanded for reprimanding Cooper. Last August, a Spanish teacher was suspended for attempting to force the teen out of his chair after he refused to stand for the Pledge and said “America sucks,” according to the New York Post.

Despite these incidents, Cooper remains seated for the Pledge.

“Adults should not behave that way,” Porter also told WGN. “That’s childish. That’s really childish for him to say my son’s behaviors…let me correct myself, my son’s 1st Amendment right to sit doesn’t align with his beliefs.”

[Feature Photo: Facebook/CBS Chicago]