A teenager from the city of Watertown in Upstate New York says he had no choice but to leave his Christian school after taunts about his Canadian heritage refused to cease.
In a surprising twist, however, 15-year-old Noah Kilpatrick says it wasn't the students doing the taunting, but rather the teachers.
Specifically, Theodore Curinga, who serves as both Faith Fellowship Christian School's history teacher and principal.
"He would make fun of the way I dressed and he'd say, 'Oh, you're wearing Canadian colors,'" the Ottawa-born teen recalled to local CBS affiliate WWNY. "And I'd be like, 'Yeah, I am. Thanks, Mr. Curinga.' He'd say, 'That wasn't a compliment.'"
Noah says Curinga brought his anti-Canadian sentiments into the classroom with him, as did at least one other teacher.
"History class and sometimes math class … they were stereotyping Canadians and saying we were all stupid — it was offensive," Noah told the National Post.
One time, Curinga employed a Canadian coin Noah accidentally used in the school's cafeteria to make fun of him in front of the whole school.
Curinga allegedly held up the toonie (a Canadian 2 dollar coin) at a school assembly and reminded students that Canadian currency was not legal tender in the states.
"Of course, everybody looked at Noah," said the boy's mother Tina.
Attempts by Noah to point out that he was an American citizen and had been living in the country for the past 10 years fell on deaf ears, and Tina made the decision to remove him from the school.
She says she tried to speak with school officials about the matter, but was given the runaround.
"And that's how things ended with me pulling Noah out and no one wanting to sit down and discuss the things that were said and done and how a child was feeling," she told 7 News.
The school declined to discuss the matter "in public venues," but has apparently been motivated by the media exposure to call for a meeting of the board of directors.
In the meantime, Noah is completing his last semester of ninth grade from home through an online course.
Tina says she hasn't ruled out the possibility of leaving the US altogether.
"This is so intense right now that if it stays this way … if we feel ostracized this way, then we won’t stay," she told the Post.
[screengrab via 7 News]