An Oklahoma pre-kindergarten teacher forced a left-handed child to write with his right hand, calling left-handed people "evil," local news sources reported Tuesday. After the child's mother, Alicia Sands, contacted the teacher to demand more information, the child's teacher sent him home with a note about the roots of evil in left-handed people and how left-handedness is a sign of the devil.
Sands said her son Zayde, 4, has always been left-handed since he first started picking up objects and learning to write. When she noticed he was no longer using his left hand while working on homework, she asked him why, and Zayde responded that his teacher had told him his left hand was "bad."
The teacher's note to Sands included an article that described left-handed people as "sinister," "evil" and “unlucky,” she said. She noted that the article even stated that the devil was left-handed.
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Even though 10 percent of people are left-handed and science indicates that the dominance of one hand over another has a strong genetic component, many people hold superstitions about left-handed people, saying they are less capable or even evil.
Chris McManus, a University College of London researcher who wrote on the history of left-handedness, told the Washington Post: "Left-handers may also have appeared less capable and more clumsy, as left-handed adults worked on machines that were almost certainly designed with right-handers in mind,” adding that “left-handed children were taught to write with steel dip pens that needed to be dragged across the paper from left to right by right-handers.”
The administration did nothing to reprimand the teacher, and Zayde's mother said she will file a complaint with the local school board after making sure her son is moved to a different classroom. “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 said.