Grass Valley, CA – A substitute teacher at a Grass Valley middle school went off on the 13-year-old son of law enforcement officers on Monday because he was wearing a mask with a Thin Blue Line on it (video below).
The incident occurred at Lymon Gilmore Middle School on Jan. 31 while 13-year-old Lucas Lillar was in math class, KOVR reported.
Lillar said he was sitting at his desk working when the substitute teacher sat down at an empty desk behind him and tried to pick a fight over his Thin Blue Line face mask.
“That is not the American flag,” the male teacher yelled at the student as classmates filmed the altercation on their cell phones.
“That is the new Confederacy flag,” the teacher insisted, crossing his arms dramatically in the air in imitation of a Confederate flag, the video showed.
“It’s the Thin Blue Line,” Lillar told the teacher.
The teacher argued with him loudly in the middle of a classroom full of students, the video showed.
Lillar insisted the flag was a Thin Blue Line and the substitute teacher disagreed.
“No, it’s black, white with some blue line in it,” the teacher argued.
“Yeah, THIN BLUE LINE,” Lillar yelled back in the video.
“Yeah, but it’s not American,” the teacher lectured the student.
“That’s American,” he added, gesturing to something off camera.
Lillar described the whole experience as confusing and frustrating, KTXL reported.
“I was confused at that time because I didn’t know what he was talking about,” the boy said.
“I never had someone talk to me like that, yell at me in my face, especially a teacher,” Lillar told KOVR.
Lillar said he proudly wears the Thin Blue Line on a regular basis because his father and stepmother both work in law enforcement.
He said it can be hard to have parents who work in law enforcement, KOVR reported.
“It just makes me feel worried,” the boy said.
His mother, Amanda McCallum, was furious about the substitute teacher’s actions against her son, KTXL reported.
“I was angry because these types of things should never be in the classroom,” McCallum said.
She said she was shocked the argument had occurred because her son had the same substitute a week earlier and had been wearing a Thin Blue Line mask then, too, KTXL reported.
“These topics need to be left at the door,” McCallum said. “The school is meant to educate our children in a safe environment and I don’t feel like this was a safe environment, but it needs to be.”
“We are entrusting these people of authority, these teachers with our children,” the frustrated mother said. “We are in a time where we are so divided that we need to learn to be kind and respect each other.”
McCallum said she hoped to meet with the school superintendent next week, KVOR reported.
Grass Valley School District Superintendent Andrew Withers said the matter was a personnel issue and he could not comment.
But McCallum said the principal had assured her that the substitute teacher who verbally assaulted her son in a classroom would not be returning to Lymon Gilmore Middle School, KVOR reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below: