Student in Broncos jersey furor enrolls in new school
BEAVER FALLS, Pa. (AP) – A high school student who complained that a teacher forced him to sit on the floor during a midterm exam — for wearing a Denver Broncos jersey — has left the school district after what his father said was continued harassment and silence from students.
“He doesn’t feel wanted,” Brian Vannoy said of his son, Joshua. “I just want him to be happy in school.”
Joshua Vannoy, 17, enrolled at a new school Friday, his father said. Brian Vannoy would not identify the school.
Big Beaver Falls Area School District officials could not be reached for comment Sunday.
Vannoy, a junior, stopped going to Beaver Falls High School after he said his honors ethics relations teacher John Kelly, a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, forced him to take the midterm sitting on the floor and encouraged other students to pelt him with wads of paper.
Vannoy wore the jersey of retired Broncos quarterback John Elway to class Jan. 20, two days before the Steelers beat the Broncos in the AFC Championship Game.
Vannoy returned Jan. 30 with an escort. He dropped Kelly’s class for a study hall but he faced stony silence and some comments, though no threats of physical violence, his father said.
“He gave it a while,” Brian Vannoy said. “But it just wasn’t getting any better.”
Vannoy received national attention and a $3,000 leather heat-massage reclining chair designed by Elway.
Kelly has called the incident “silly fun.” The district said he apologized and told students to respect Vannoy.
After an investigation, the district said Kelly would not be disciplined and that he “has already been the brunt of adverse public opinion.”
Students who take the course often are singled out to exemplify uncomfortable treatment and they know this when they enroll for the class, the district said. Crumpled paper was thrown at Vannoy, but not during the exam.
The Vannoys were disappointed the district took no action against Kelly, Brian Vannoy said. “They just turned in onto Josh,” he said.