Anything Left-Handed > Blog Posts > Children > Schoolteacher thinks left-handedness is evil!

Schoolteacher thinks left-handedness is evil!

We had an email recently from Club Member Mary that rather shocked us.  She said…

“I am very disturbed by a news report of a 4 year old being forced to write with his right hand.  This thought process is archaic.
Here is a link about a 4 year old being forced to write with his right hand.   
Be outraged for this child.  I guess some Oklahoma educators are still using 1815 methods regarding left-handed people.  Hopefully, this will not cause him to have academic problems.  To me, this is a form of discrimination.”

You can see the full story and a video of the news report about it using the link above, but briefly:

4 year old left-hander Zayde came home from school one day and surprised his mum Alisha, also left-handed, by writing with his right hand, not his left as normal.  She asked him why and he raised his left and said “teacher says this one's bad”.  She sent the teacher a note asking what was going on and got a strong response.  The teacher sent back a copy of an article calling left-handedness “unlucky”, “evil”, and “sinister” and adding for good measure that “for example, the devil is often portrayed as left-handed”.

Left-handedness evil article extract

We found the original article this came from here:
http://pediatriceducation.org/2011/02/28/when-will-i-know-which-hand-she-will-use/

It looks like the article referred to is only making statements of what people have considered to be true in the past, but the teacher has totally misinterpreted it, or coloured it with her own beliefs, to think some of those things are actually TRUE now and she needs to force children to change hands and educate their parents!  That is clearly a very bad thing to do and on the face of it this person has no place in the teaching profession.

Alisha couldn’t believe it.  She said “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 went to the school superintendent at Oakes Elementary in Okemah, Oklahoma, USA with the article but “there was no suspension of any kind. There was basically nothing done about this teacher”, Alisha says, “She told them she thought I needed literature on it”.

Zayde will likely be transferred to another class just two months into the school year as a result of this.

NewsChannel 4 called the school and were told the superintendent was out and were transferred us to the principal. She said she’s aware of the situation and the district is investigating then hung up before they could ask any questions.

Alisha is going to file a formal complaint with the Oklahoma Board of Education and we will try to find out what happens.

UPDATE

This story generated a huge amount of interest and you can see all the comments we received below.

The update is that this teacher had apparently done the same thing to at least one other young child and after her parents complained as well the teacher was forced to resign.
http://kfor.com/2015/09/25/oklahoma-pre-k-teacher-accused-in-left-handed-controversy-resigns/


 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in Children

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

210 comments on “Schoolteacher thinks left-handedness is evil!
  1. Marny CA says:

    When using my left hand to write I position my hand on the paper as a mirror image of how I position my hand when writing right handed.

    I never could understand why the left handed kids scooped their entire hand/wrist up over where they were to write.

    Are there other people here who are ambidextrous and write the way I do?

    • Lynn R says:

      Whether you “scoop” your hand to write is mostly innate (i.e., you are born with it) – it’s REALLY interesting to see RIGHT handers crooking their hands when writing. Weird. Another possible reason for the awkward positioning of the hand might be due to the way teachers tilt the paper for left handers when they are learning to write. The nuns who taught me (reluctantly -they would have preferred to just switch me) turned the paper OPPOSITE to the slant of right handers. IF I had accepted that and written without a crook in the wrist, it would have resulted in the backwards slant of the writing lefties are known for. Well, I was a stubborn kid and would immediately turn the paper back to slanting with the upper right corner at the “top” as soon as their backs were turned, resuting in a nice forward slant and no bending of my wrist. Mostly, it’s innate, not learned, to bend your wrist. Happens with a small minority of BOTH left and right handers.

      • June says:

        The nun school teacher I had slapped my hand with a ruler when caught writing left handed. My Dad pulled me out of the school into public school, so I write and do most everything left handed.

        So fortunate my Dad did that, who knows what problems I would have encountered had I stayed in that school.

  2. Karen Mader says:

    Wow Marny – that is interesting.

    • Dr Billy Levin says:

      I have written repeatedly from a medical point of view why some are left handed. Please refer to all my comments at various times.

  3. Dr Billy Levin says:

    AS a specialist treating ADHD/ADD, 59 years experience, 22.000 cases. 1/2 million rating scales and world wide recognition ad more.

  4. Marny Fischer says:

    Does my being ambidextrous mean I’m only half evil?

    I love being ready, willing, and able to use both left and right hands for whatever comes up.

    A ‘natural’ rightie who found out that being leftie worked out great for a variety of different tasks, depending on whatever goes on in my brain – works for me.

    For instance: when painting – I use my right for broad strokes and for fine detail my left hand is used.

    I sew/cut leftie – but screwdriver/hammer and that sort is based on whether a wall interfers.

    I throw a ball leftie, golf rightie, bowl leftie. Batting a ball was either way, depending on the pitcher.

    I write either hand but rightie is my legal signature; printing is neater with my left hand.

    I used to be able to write two different things at the same time while using both hands.

    Comb/brush hair leftie, brush teeth rightie. So??

    I’m approaching 80 years old and can’t think of any reason why anyone would consider me evil for any of these gifts.

    Teachers who believe such nonsense do not belong in a school with children.

  5. Mrs. A.J. Millington says:

    Being born left-handed only to be told by parents and teachers it’s wrong, sinister/evil is insulting. Another ridiculous example I can use is this: not only am I left-handed, I also have natural curly hair!

    I am a biracial woman who had a white mother (Jewish & Irish) and a dark-skinned father who was British, Cherokee/Choctaw Native American and Jamaican. My mum straightened my natural curls for years..she didn’t know what else to do. After years of fighting it with relaxers, I quit and embraced my curls since 2012.

    To say that having straight hair is better than natural curly hair is just as ignorant and completely baseless. That is, unless the prejudice is directed at the woman with natural curls. Same thing with being left-handed. We’ve got to get rid of our archaic prejudices. I’m glad to be a lefty with natural curly hair. It makes me unique!

  6. Mrs. A.J. Millington says:

    Archaic, totally. If being left-handed is evil/sinister, then what does it make meshuggina right-handers? Hmm, I smell prejudice and bias here.

  7. Mrs. Alicia J. Millington says:

    After reading this article, I’m appalled at the level of ignorance and stupidity of right handed people. As a member of this site, I wrote about this nonsense a while ago. I am the oldest of 5 kids, born to meshuggina right-handed parents.

    At age 4, I too, was forced to use my right hand. Often, my mom would defer to my ignorant father, exasperating the situation. Whenever she saw me coloring with crayons in my coloring book, she often discouraged me by slapping my left hand. As I grew older, it resulted in a sloppy and illegible right-handed script. I imagine my parents wanted me to “fit in” with other kids and not stand out. Whatever the reasons, they were wrong (I never wanted to fit in). Attempting to change the wiring of an obvious left-handed child, believing the lies that left-handedness is sinister/evil, wicked is discriminatory and unwarranted.

    March 2017, my husband and I went ice skating. Before the rink closed, I attempted to get in one last lap. It ended with my legs and skates going out from under me, causing damage to my right arm and wrist. A visit to the hospital and orthopedic doctor confirmed a hairline fracture. It meant wearing a cast for several weeks, followed by a brace until it healed completely. In the meantime, I was completely dependent on my LEFT HAND. For EVERYTHING. I decided to undo [most of] the damage and became a southpaw again.

    Has it been easy? Not with everything. Also, an amazing thing happened: In the mid-late 1970s, I decided to research my ancestry and found out the left-handed gene is on my dad’s side of the family! What are the odds of 5 kids, 4 being lefties? Both my brothers and a sister are all lefties; only my younger sister in Brooklyn, NY is right-handed. Go figure.

    In closing, the teacher should definitely be fired. She shouldn’t be allowed to teach her stupid, outdated paradigms on her left handed students. It’s positively Byzantine in this day & age. It’s the way we’re wired because the bias against us is prejudiced. We’re not like the rest. I love being different that way and not like the rest of the right-handed meshuggas out there. Wake up world, we’re not going anywhere!

    • Karen Mader says:

      Very glad that you were able to use your left hand for everything after the accident. My mother kept putting a spoon in my right hand when I was very young – then I started stuttering so she quit. A grandmother who lived next door saw me using my left hand eating jello and told me that I would have my hand tied behind my back. I was terrified but my Mom told me that they don’t do that anymore. That was in B. C., Canada in 1948.

      • Marny Fischer says:

        When dining next to a leftie I will switch to eating leftie – if there is no room for their left and my right during the eating process.

        I already cut by holding a knife (or scissors) left handed.

  8. Dr Billy Levin says:

    Left handedness is often associated with behavior problems and behavior problems that can be diagnosed and treated medically.

    • Marny Fischer says:

      Dr Billy Levin, is that your belief? If so, by what authorities do you base your knowledge?

      • Dr Billy Levin says:

        As A qualified doctor specialized in ADHD/ADD for 59 years, 22000 cases treated. 1/2 million Conners rating scales reviewed, World recognition and invited to 2 international conferences on ADHD/ADD. And more .

  9. ERIN A. WELCH says:

    TEACHERS KNEW THEY HAD BETTER LEAVE ME ALONE!OK, SO TGEY SAY LEFT HANDERS ARE SUPOOSE TO “EVIL” OR “WICKED”? WELL MY “EVIL” WILL COME OUT IN SPADES IF THEY EVER TRIED TO/FORCED ME TO BE SOMETHING I WASN’T,THEY LEARNED FROM EXPERIENCE ESPECIALLY WHEN IT CAME TO WRITTING W/MY LEFT HAND!

  10. Marny CA says:

    I love being ambidextrous! When my right hand/arm is out of commission my left is ready, willing, and able to take over with few restrictions.

    Evil? The way the Christians burned at the stake anyone they deemed to be different. Or murdering Jews who refused to become Christian yet praying to a Jew.

    Evil? The majority continually trying their best to destroy a tiny minority!

    Sad that Jews were not allowed to do their own crafts!

    • Marny CA says:

      More info: I can write with either hand – but am a righty. Lately, it’s been more convenient to write lefty. My right arm/elbow are resting on the arm of the recliner so doing crossword puzzles are lefty.

      I bowl lefty, golf righty, tennis serve is better/stronger lefty so I hold the racket lefty, too; catch a ball either hand but throw lefty so using a left handed mitt was tough.

      When painting, right hand is used for palette knife but for miniature/fine details, I use my left hand.

      I can also write with both hands at the same time – and used to be able to write two different things at the same time. Upside/down and backwards, too, along with mirror-imaging, which is fun to do.

      All of this must mean I am more than evil. Hot dog!!

      or quite talented. wink.

      • Karen Mader says:

        I would say EXTREMELY TALENTED!!!!!

        • Marny Fischer says:

          Karen Mader, thank you!

          I might be talented or just able to do something not many people can do.

          Being taller would have been nice – but, alas, that didn’t happen. However, at my age, I’m *still* ambidextrous. Yippee!

          Again, thank you! You’re extremely talented, betcha’!

    • Mrs. Alicia J. Millington says:

      That genealogy search I did in the mid-late 1970s showed this: my dad’s ancestors emigrated from Liverpool, England to Kingston, Jamaica. Don’t know how long they stayed. They left, settling in the Panhandle of Florida, intermarrying with the Cherokee and Choctaw Native Americans.

      My mom knew bupkis about her ancestry so, I asked my bubbe. She mentioned how we Sephardic Jews were kicked out of Spain (by queen Isabella) because we refused to convert to Catholicism. It was convert, leave or be killed. They left, settling in Ireland for 300 years. Fearing for their lives, they set sail for Ellis Island, NY. While being processed as new immigrants, they were told to anglicize their last names (to avoid further persecution).

      I am all of the above and also left-handed. I wasn’t thrown a curve ball, rather, I was blessed by God and given a gift few people will ever experience. Comfortable in my own skin, never caring what others think, I’m proud of my rich heritage. That is not only being Jewish/Irish/Native American but being left-handed as well.

      • Marny Fischer says:

        Ahhh, but do you read or speak Hebrew?

        A non-Jewish friend was making my son a Bar Mitzvah gift which included the lettering in Hebrew of his Torah portion. She knew nothing about that language – but learned that Hebrew cannot easily be done right to left. So, she did the Hebrew lettering in the proper right to left.

        We thought her discovery to be interesting.

        BTW, I can write Hebrew with either hand. However, note: I can read and chant Hebrew but do not speak the language of conversation.

        Drats!

  11. Nick McCormack says:

    Nothing much changes, almost sixty years ago when I was attending a Roman Catholic Primary School I was forced to use my right hand and was told by teachers and the priest that being left handed was “a sign of The Devil”.

  12. Mrs. A.J. Millington says:

    As the oldest of five kids, at age 4, I was forced by my [meshuggina] parents to be right-handed. Yet, I have 2 brothers & a sister; all lefties like me. It was awkward & uncomfortable resulting in a somewhat sloppy [right-handed] handwriting script. My parents had me believe there was “something wrong with me,” that I wouldn’t fit in with other students in school (who cares!). I did excel in art: drawing/painting, music and foreign languages. However, I was terrible in math but that was largely due to the teachers. A recent ice skating accident resulted in injury to my right wrist (a hairline fracture). Although I always eat with my left hand, switching back to being a southpaw again was also a bit awkward. However, I realized this is how I was wired at birth, therefore, I am not switching back. Anyone who thinks being left-handed is evil has the problem. Like arguing that the earth is flat it stems from the paradigms of ignorance and utter foolishness; that somehow by being right-handed that you’re perfect (not). It’s a discriminating form of prejudice, coupled with paradigms must be broken. Right-handers need some serious education on the matter!

    • Karen Mader says:

      Were your 2 brothers and your sister forced to use their right hand also?

      • Mrs. A.J. Millington says:

        Unfortunately, no they weren’t. My brother who’s a year younger than I am, is an excellent graphic artist and is left-handed. I don’t know why my parents didn’t force my 2 brothers & sister to be right-handed. My husband says that’s what folks did back in the day. It is what it is; I’m a southpaw until the day I die. No switching back to being right-handed. The transition hasn’t been easy but it’s the best way for me.

        • marny CA says:

          That teacher should be either reeducated or removed from the classroom.

          What would she do with a child who has no arms and writes with their feet?

          I’m a rightie who is happy to be ambidextrous and creative and smarter than that teacher.

Joing the Left Handed Club
  • Monthly Newsletters
  • Exclusive special offers
  • Campaigns and awareness

FIND OUT MORE

Left-Handed Information