An Arizona high school teacher had a hell of a time after dressing up as Satan during Spirit Week. In fact, the devilish educator was suspended after wearing horns and carrying a pitchfork, which he waved over students as he said, “Hail Satan!”
Although most students laughed at the spirited teacher — whose traditional Halloween costume traces back to at least 1,000 years — at least one grim soul did not see the humor.
Sophomore Nathaniel Hamlet told the station that while some students thought the teacher’s antics were funny and others just blew it off, he personally didn’t appreciate it for religious reasons.
“I said, ‘Don’t do that to me,’ and I pushed [the pitchfork] away, maybe three or four times, and he still said it and still did it,” Hamlet told KPNX.
“Participating in spirit weeks like this is a way for me to engage with my students and bring fun to my classroom,” the teacher said. “It’s truly not any more complicated than that.”
But Hamlet didn’t agree and told his dad, former Mesa Public School board candidate Chris Hamlet, who reported the incident to the school’s principal.
“I was livid because I am a Christian as well, obviously,” Chris Hamlet told KPNX. “What really tipped it over for me is he kept telling him no, and he and the teacher kept persisting.” … “If you’re gonna keep the Christian stuff out, then you got to keep the devil-worshiping stuff out, period.”
The teacher was put on administrative leave while “the investigation is ongoing,” according to a Mesa Unified School Board statement, and it’s not clear whether anyone will be fired. Either way, they’ll have a devil of a time getting to the bottom of this.