Teacher suspended after allegedly telling Muslim-American student ‘we don’t negotiate with terrorists’
A New Jersey high school teaching assistant was suspended for allegedly calling a Muslim-American student a terrorist.
Ridgefield Memorial High School senior Mohammed Zubi told CNN that during class last week he asked the teacher for more time to complete his assignment.
The teaching assistant allegedly quipped back, “We don’t negotiate with terrorists,” according to CNN.
Zubi said that he felt “completely shocked” and at a “loss of words” after the exchange, saying he asked a classmate behind him to confirm that was what the teaching assistant said.
Zubi also said the teaching assistant came up to him a few minutes later, apologizing for his remarks, CNN reported.
“In my head I’m just like, what other way could he have meant that?” Zubi said.
The Ridgefield School District (RSD) said in a statement Sunday that the district “has absolutely no tolerance for any sort discrimination against any student or staff member.”
“The District strives to create an inclusive environment where students’ and staff members’ race, religion, national origin and sexual orientation are embraced. While the District cannot legally comment on personnel or student matters, the public should be aware that the District immediately suspended the staff member while it is conducting a full investigation,” the statement continued.
RSD added that it has notified law enforcement about the alleged situation, saying it “fully intends to pursue any and all legal remedies against the staff member as any discriminatory conduct has absolutely no place in our District.”
“We are very concerned about these allegations and urge the school district to take appropriate corrective measures following a swift and transparent investigation,” the New Jersey executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Selaedin Maksut, said in a statement Friday. “This type of insensitive language by an authority figure is unacceptable because it perpetuates stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims.”