A teacher scolded a 4-year-old student in Oklahoma over writing with his "bad" left hand, and then sent the boy's mother literature detailing how left-handedness is associated with wickedness and the devil. Alisha Sands, who is left-handed herself, says son Zayde has always used his left hand to do everything from coloring to throwing, so she was surprised to see him trying to write with his right hand after school last week. "I just asked, 'Is there anything his teachers ever asked about his hands?' And he raises this one and says, 'This one’s bad," Sands tells KFOR. "It breaks my heart for him because someone actually believes that ... my child is evil because he’s left handed, it's crazy."
There is surprisingly little data on left-handedness, notes the Washington Post, though in America, geography seems to play a factor as does era—lefties hit their low point (about 3% of the population) in the early 1900s, probably as a result of these old attitudes along with the rise of machinery for the masses. Still, scientists tend to agree that genetics play a strong role in determining handedness, and roughly 10% of the global population is left-handed (including, incidentally, many US presidents, from Barack Obama and Bill Clinton to George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, notes Time). But in the case of Zayde, "There was basically nothing done to this teacher," says Sands, who went straight to the superintendent. "She told them she thought I needed literature on it." Superintendent Tony Dean tells the New York Daily News that the school is looking into it. "We take this very, very seriously. We are not just dismissing it." (Check out these left-handed celebrities.)