A Texas teacher finds herself in hot soup after she allegedly called a Muslim student in her class a “terrorist.”
Waleed Abushaaban, a 12-year-old honor student at First Colony Middle School in Sugar Land, said that the teacher, who has not been identified, made the careless crack during a movie screening in the class.
According to KHOU, Waleed and his friends were watching the comedy flick Bend It Like Beckham in class when he let out a laugh during one of the scenes in the movie. This apparently prompted the Texas teacher to label him a “terrorist” in front of his peers.
“We’re in the class watching a movie. And I was just laughing at the movie and the teacher said, ‘I wouldn’t be laughing if I was you.’ And I said why? She said ‘because we all think you’re a terrorist.'”
Since then, Waleed alleges, he has been at the wrong end of bomb jokes from his peers, with some of them having gone on to ridicule him for his religion and beliefs.
“They were like, ‘oh I see a bomb!’ and they started all laughing and making jokes. I was upset and I felt like I was put in the corner and like everybody was just looking at me.”
The unnamed teacher, who reportedly teaches English and Language at the school, was removed from the classroom after the incident came to light and has since been sent on administrative leave. But the young boy’s family wants the Texas teacher fired because of the insensitive remarks she made, reports New York Daily News.
“Just because my son is a Muslim doesn’t mean he is a terrorist,” said Waleed’s father Malek Abushaaban. “He’s as American as anybody else. He was born here… that’s all he knows is how to be an American.”
The young Muslim boy’s mother expressed disappointment at the Texas teacher’s act, saying being an American and a Muslim are not mutually exclusive.
“We want him to know that he is an American-born citizen, to an American-born mother, but he’s also a Muslim. The two aren’t exclusive of each other. He can be both, and there’s nothing wrong with that. He doesn’t have to feel like he has to hide his religion.”
Community activist Quanell X has echoed the family’s views, saying the racist teacher should be fired for her irresponsible act, according to CW39.
“That kind of ignorance being celebrated and promoted in a classroom says that that kind of enlightenment and education is desperately needed. Have the same zero-tolerance policy for the administration and this teacher’s inappropriate behavior as you would have for this young kid.”
Teacher accused of calling student a 'terrorist' https://t.co/vmQoXzYQdU— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) April 1, 2016
Meanwhile, the Fort Bend school district has also released a statement, denouncing the acts of the teacher and reaffirming that strict action will be taken against the perpetrator if the investigation deems her guilty.
“While the teacher reports her statements were made in the context of trying to make a point about negative stereotypes, district officials do not believe that the teacher exercised the appropriate sensitivity expected of the district’s educators, and do not believe that the statements were made in a manner that is in keeping with the district’s Core Beliefs and Commitments.”
This is not the first time that such an incident has taken place in Texas. As Houston Chronicle reports, about six months ago, another Muslim student, Ahmed Mohamed, made national headlines when his North Texas high school called the police and suspended him for bringing to school a homemade clock, mistaking his project for a bomb.
The Texas teacher can expect to face disciplinary action against her if the allegations made by the 12-year-old Waleed Abushaaban are proved accurate.
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