A Tacoma, Washington, teacher is under fire after he reportedly went on a rant against President Donald Trump during a recent virtual class.
What are the details?
According to KTTH-FM's Jason Rantz, Perry G. Keithley Middle School sixth-grade teacher Brendon Stanton went on the offensive on Friday after a 10-year-old student revealed that Trump is the person he most admires.
During a recent virtual class, Stanton reportedly asked the students, "Who is the one person you admire and why?"
In the class's chat, an unnamed child answered, "I admire Donald J. Trump because he is making America great again. And because he is the best president the United States of America could ever, ever have. And he built a wall so terrorists couldn't come into in the [sic] the U.S. Trump is the best person in the world. And that's why I had [sic] admire him."
KTTH reported that "Stanton almost immediately kicked the student out of the chatroom, deleted the chat, and proceeded to attack the president, while calling out the student for mentioning him."
Elsy Kusander, the mother of the unnamed child, told Rantz in a recent interview that she walked into the room to hear the teacher "berating the president," so she took the opportunity to begin recording the exchange — which she provided to Rantz for the basis of their conversation.
According to the Kusander's recording, Stanton said, "The example that was shared in the chat, which I went ahead and erased for us, was not appropriate, right? Especially as that individual has created so much division and hatred between people and specifically spoken hatred to many different individuals, OK? Again, that individual has spoken hate to many individuals, and I don't think is an appropriate example for a role model that we should be admiring."
Kusander told Rantz that she reached out to Stanton to further discuss the matter, but did not immediately reveal that she had recorded the exchange between him and the students.
Kusander — who also recorded the conversation with Stanton — said that Stanton told her that her child's answer was incorrect because the question he asked was about a "computer programmer they admired." Students, according to what Stanton reportedly told Kusander, could name "someone from the community" if they could not think of an admirable computer programmer.
He also reportedly told Kusander that he'd deleted the "admired person" question because of privacy concerns, and pointed out that the child's answer offended other students in the class.
Stanton reportedly told Kusander, "I do try to keep politics out of the classroom ... because students have different opinions, right?"
Rantz noted that "even in this call, Stanton pushed his political opinion," and said "he was offended by [Kusander's son's] claim that the border wall keeps out terrorists."
Stanton reportedly told Kusander, "But we know that our neighbors at the southern border are not all terrorists, right?"
Kusander — an immigrant from Honduras — then said she told Stanton that she had recorded the exchange.
"I came into the room and you were talking," she said. "I got my phone and I recorded part of your conversation. I clearly saw and recorded what you were saying."
According to Kusander, Stanton answered, "I do apologize if my words were not perfect at the time. If I used… if I said that Trump was 'hateful and divisive,' that may have been what I used at the time, but my purpose was in bringing us back to the conversation of computer scientists and the positive role that they've played in our history."
Stanton reportedly added, "I totally respect him as an individual. And his opinion. I am always interested in student feedback and also parent feedback as well. So I appreciate you having this conversation with me."
According to Rantz, "[M]ultiple emails to Stanton, the principal of P. G. Keithley Middle School, and the district communication's [sic] manager went unanswered."