Boy teased about coronavirus, says because he’s Asian; Teacher accused of intolerance

A local teenager was sent to the school nurse’s office after he coughed in class. His mom says it’s because of growing coronavirus concerns.

“He’s a thick-skinned kid, not a snowflake,” said mother Leyna Nguyen, a former longtime L.A. News Anchor. “This isn’t about an overly-sensitive child; this is about an insensitive teacher.”

Nguyen says the teacher made her son go to the nurse at Walter Reed Middle School Wednesday because he coughed, swallowing water.

“He actually said to me, ‘all the other students who are coughing, they don’t get sent out.’ But they’re not Asian,” said Nguyen.

The nurse cleared 8th grader Dylan Muriano to return to class, where peers teased him about having coronavirus. He says his teacher was upset to see him back and ignored him for the rest of the class.

“I asked him if he sent me out because I was Asian and he responded with nothing,” said Dylan Muriano. “He looked me in the eye and didn’t say anything after that. Just left me alone and wouldn’t say anything.”

The next day, Muriano says the same teacher accused him of being disruptive and sent him to the dean’s office.

Upset, Nguyen called the school and posted about it on Facebook. “All of a sudden, hundreds of comments about other people experiencing the same thing, at the grocery store, on a plane – a full plane – no one wants to sit by the one Asian guy.”

Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website says: Do not show prejudice to people of Asian descent, because of fear of this new virus. Do not assume that someone of Asian descent is more likely to have it.

“I know there are bigger problems in the world right now. My son knows there are bigger problems in the world right now, but you can’t let this go. For him at that moment, it’s a pretty big deal and you can’t just let it slide.”

The Los Angeles Unified School District is looking into the matter and says it cannot comment on student or personnel matters because they’re confidential but a spokesperson said: “LAUSD remains committed to the safety and well-being of all students and does not condone violence or intolerance of any kind.”

“People go through this a lot, every day and it’s not right,” Muriano said. “It shouldn’t be like that.”