Nine-year old Domonique Yatsko went to Ohio’s Hinkley Elementary School wearing a sweatshirt adorned with a picture of the “eight point buck” deer she had killed and may have been publicly shamed by her teacher for doing so.
The Medina County Gazette first reported the story last Friday, detailing how Yatsko went to school last November and was allegedly “yelled at” and instructed by teacher Hannah Copa to remove the sweatshirt because “killing animals is not what we do.”
Domonque’s mother, Heidi Yatsko, says her daughter “was ashamed and belittled in front of everyone in the classroom. She didn’t know what to think; she was so upset.”
Though the sweatshirt pictures are a family tradition, Domonique threw the garment in the garbage when she returned home that day. Heidi Yatsko also accuses the school’s principal, James Carpenter, of adding to the girl’s embarrassment by commenting, “we don’t have dead animals in school.”
Heidi says she contacted the teacher, principal and school superintendent Catherine Aukerman to complain about the incident because she was “just looking for an apology.”
Aukerman says that she has apologized to Domonique and denies that the teacher yelled at the student.
“When parents raise concerns in our schools, we look into it. The daughter had felt that she had been reprimanded and didn’t understand why and I apologized for that and for any misunderstanding that may have occurred,” Aukerman told the Gazette.
Aukerman also claims, “The situation as I understand it is several children expressed concerns to the teacher and the teacher asked the student to step into hallway and take off (the sweatshirt) because it was upsetting to some of the students, and she did.”
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