- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Chicago high school teacher isn’t making any apologies after he says he was fired for refusing to teach a student who sat out the Pledge of Allegiance.

Vince Ziebarth said he was fired after three years teaching drivers education at Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, because he refused to give driving lessons to 15-year-old Shemar Cooper.

Shemar made headlines in September after his Spanish teacher was disciplined for trying to force the teen to stand for the pledge.

“Did he not learn from the incident that occurred in September?” Shemar’s mother, Kelly Porter, told a local CBS affiliate. “Why did he think he’s invincible, that he can harass my son? He got what he deserved.”

Mr. Ziebarth said he was simply exercising his First Amendment rights, like Shemar.

“I had a one-on-one conversation with him that, due to his decision to sit for the pledge, I would no longer take him in my car,” the former Eisenhower teacher told CBS. “All I told him is that, based on his actions, he has a choice with his actions. I was exercising my right to make a choice as well.”

Mr. Ziebarth told WGN-TV that conversation took place at least a month ago, but he wasn’t fired until Tuesday.

Mr. Ziebarth said he never told Shemar to stand, and that there are seven other drivers ed teachers who could have stepped in to teach the child during that time.

Regardless, Mr. Ziebarth isn’t offering any apologies.

“I wish them all the best,” he told CBS. “I don’t feel I acted out of malice.

“It shouldn’t be controversial to stand for the past, to stand for those who paid the ultimate price,” he said.

School District 218 refused to comment specifically on the issue but confirmed that Mr. Ziebarth is no longer employed by the district, WGN-TV reported.

As for Shemar, the high school sophomore still plans on boycotting the pledge.

“He does not stand because Shemar does not believe in America,” Ms. Porter told a local NBC affiliate. “He says America is a very racist country, there is no freedom or love for black people.

Ms. Porter said she’s satisfied with Mr. Ziebarth’s firing but wants the school to emphasize it’s education on the First Amendment. She also said her son has been getting some abuse at school over the teacher’s termination.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More

Click to Hide