A middle school student who didn’t take the writing portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test because he was sick at home was later forced by a teacher to wear a sign that said: “I decided to come to school today, but I didn’t come to school during the FCAT.”

The student, eighth-grader Thomas Cancellare, told Bay News 9 that students at Sleepy Hill Middle School laughed at him after the teacher slipped the sign around his neck, and that the episode “made me feel like I’m worthless.”

When Cancellare returned to school, he had a doctor’s note proving he was sick on test day, but that didn’t stop the teacher. The school principal took the sign off when he saw it, the station reported.

The boy’s mother, Daphne Cancellare, who was furious about the sign, told Bay News 9 that her son received a handwritten apology letter from the teacher. But she still wants to see more formal discipline taken against the teacher, who she accused of bullying her son.

Bullying is, actually, defined as a pattern of behavior. But even if this were the only thing that this teacher had done that could be construed as humiliating this student, the judgment displayed by the adult in the equation was so egregiously bad that Daphne Cancellare’s request is the only thing that makes sense in this case.


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