Riled-up sports fans can be notoriously obnoxious to fans of their rival team. But I could hardly believe this display of madness myself, and I'm a Red Sox fan who's seen serious shizz go down.
Nine-year-old Nathan Johns didn't think his teacher, Peter Addabbo, was serious when he told him to go to the boys' room and pull the shirt switch around. The article quotes Nate as saying, "I thought to myself 'Is he serious or is he kidding?' But he had this look like he wasn't kidding at all."
Addabbo then told the kid to wear his shirt inside out for the rest of the day. Nate's suffering continued at the hands of fifth graders, who made fun of him at lunch.
Still, Nate's pissed off -- and if you ask me, he's got every right to be. "Just because my teacher doesn't like the Yankees, I should still have the right to wear a Yankees shirt," he said. Apparently, the teacher has Sox stuff up all over his classroom.
Now, if you know anything about the Yankee/Red Sox rivalry or any sports rivalry in general, it often morphs full-grown mature functional humans into primal beings barely capable of adhering to acceptable social mores. As a native Bostonian with a real live Yankee employee for a brother-in-law, my kid could easily fall victim to this kind of nonsense. But we're great pals ... and sane.
The school superintendent said they are looking into the incident. Meanwhile, poor Nate has to deal with the aftermath of being bullied by his own teacher.
"It was such a horrible day," Nate said. "I don't ever want anything like that to happen again."
SO WHAT if the kid wore the shirt during last week's Yanks/Sox playoffs? This abuse of authority violates the kid's First Amendment rights, no? It's not like his shirt said "F*** the Sox" or anything provocative that couldn't be shown around school. It was a team shirt, for crying out loud. Supporting his home team! The kid had every right to wear it.
Think the kid was bullied? I think the teacher should be ordered to strip the paraphernalia off the classroom walls and wear it home with nothing underneath. But that's just me.
In your opinion, what's a fitting slap-on-the-wrist for the teach?
|Vivian Manning-Schaffel has written for Babble, Parenting, The Advocate, The New York Post, Business Week and a variety of other publications and lives and works in the heart of breeder Brooklyn with her husband and two kids. She authors two pop culture blogs: The Mad Mom and A Hag Supreme, and is on the web at vivianmanningschaffel.com.|