- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A left-handed preschooler was allegedly forced by his teacher to write with his right hand because left-handedness is “associated with wickedness.”

Alisha Sands said she noticed something was wrong when her 4-year-old son, Zayde, a student at Oakes Elementary in Okemah, Oklahoma, and who is also left-handed, started writing and coloring using his right hand, a local NBC affiliate reported.

“I just asked if his teachers ever asked anything about his hands. And he raises this one and says, ‘This one’s bad,’ ” Ms. Sands said, raising her left hand.

Ms. Sands said she sent the teacher a note and got a strong response in return. Her son was sent home with a note saying, “thanks for your input,” accompanied by an article, titled “When Will I Know Which Hand She Will Use?,” which explains how left-handedness has been viewed throughout history.

“In many Western cultures, right-handedness was/is considered the ‘correct’ or ‘right’ hand to use, and left-handedness was unlucky, inauspicious or frankly evil,” the article says. “The word ‘sinister,’ meaning left-sided, derives from various sources as early as the 15th century. There are numerous instances of left-handedness being associated with wickedness. For example, the devil is often portrayed as left-handed, and people throw salt over their left shoulder to ward off evil spirits that dwell there.”

Ms. Sands said she was horrified by the letter.

“It breaks my heart for him because someone actually believes that, believes my child is evil because he’s left handed, it’s crazy,” she told NBC.

She said she went to the superintendent with the article.

“There was no suspension of any kind. There was basically nothing done to this teacher,” Ms. Sands said. “She told them she thought I needed literature on it.”

She kept Zayde home on Monday, and he will likely transfer to another class just two months into the school year, she told NBC.

“I don’t feel like the school did what they were supposed to for him,” she said.

The principal at Oakes Elementary said she’s aware of the situation and the district is investigating, NBC reported. “She hung up before we could ask any questions,” the station said.

Ms. Sands said she is going to file a formal complaint with the Oklahoma Board of Education.

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