MONTPELIER, Vt. — A Vermont student’s proposal for a state motto in Latin drew a burst of Internet fire from people who apparently confused the Romans’ language with Latin America, but the teenager is taking it in stride.

Sen. Joe Benning, a Caledonia County Republican, filed a bill on behalf of St. Johnsbury Academy ninth-grader Angela Kubicke, who proposed that Vermont add to its English-language motto, “Freedom & Unity,” one in Latin: “Stella quarta decima fulgeat.”

That means “The 14th Star Shines Bright,” honoring Vermont’s history as the 14th state.

When television station WCAX did a story about the proposal, its website’s comment section lit up with vitriol, with many seemingly linking the Latin motto to the immigration debate. Those comments were followed by others explaining language, history and geography.