Vince Ziebarth, a driver’s ed teacher at Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, Ill., was Fired on March 16 for forcing the 15-year-old Shemar Cooper to stand during Pledge of Allegiance.
Ziebarth worked in District 218 since 2009, and was a full-time driver’s education teacher at the Blue Island school since January 2014. He was terminated March 16 after being told he made “inappropriate comments” to sophomore Shemar Cooper, the Chicago Tribune reported.
After the incident, Kelley Porter Turner, Cooper’s mother went to school and said that the teacher was bullying her son and they needed to take care of it.
At First, she said that the teacher tried to coerce him to stand by grabbing him by his arm.
However, two weeks ago, she said that Ziebarth told her son, “If you want to drive with me, you have to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance,” the paper reported.
During Ziebarth interview he said, “I told him he can make a choice to sit, but as long as you choose to sit, you will not sit in my (drivers ed) vehicle. I did not tell him what to do.”
Cooper did not stand on the Pledge of Allegiance, he rather said “America Sucks”. He is against the discrimination done by American’s to black people.
Ziebarth said he had not spoken to Cooper for the past two weeks after the incident and added he was surprised when the principal’s office called him on March 15.
The next day he was told his services were no longer required in the district, without being given a specific reason.
He said that the punishment does not fit the crime and noting that the first teacher got a one-day suspension.
An online petition for “Get Mr. Z back at Eisenhower High School” was started by students at change.org, and had over 600 signatures, as of Wednesday morning.
After the incident, classmates who blame Cooper for getting a favorite teacher terminated were harassing him.