A Clear Creek ISD teacher has been placed on administrative leave after being accused of making insensitive comments to a Muslim student about the death of Osama bin Laden.
The Clear Brook High School teacher is accused of profiling a student in his ninth-grade algebra class Monday by telling the girl, "I bet that you're grieving."
Late Tuesday, the district confirmed the incident, which remains under investigation.
The names of the math teacher and the student involved were not released.
"The Clear Brook High School principal has been in contact with the student as well as the student's family," school district spokeswoman Elaina Polsen said. "In the meantime, the teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation."
Support for diversity
In a statement, the district elaborated about the incident at the Friendswood school: "In the Clear Creek Independent School District, we believe diversity strengthens our community and seek opportunities to celebrate the different cultures within our schools and neighborhoods. The sentiments allegedly shared by this teacher are not reflective of the staff at Clear Brook High School or anyone within the Clear Creek Independent School District.
"In accordance with CCISD policy, the teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a personnel investigation. The student did the right thing and immediately notified an adult regarding the teachers' comments. The principal at Clear Brook High School notified the child's parents and has been in communication with the family."
Support from classmates
Aziz Siddiqi, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, said he believes the remark was an isolated incident, but is encouraged by reports that other students helped comfort the girl and reported the incident.
"Her supporters were her classmates. To them, she's a friend," Siddiqi said. "I would not pay too much attention. It's just one individual. A lot of people suffer because of the actions of one individual. This little girl suffered."
Siddiqi added that he is consulted often by teachers with questions about Islam and others seeking to learn more about the religion.
"The teacher is going to suffer," Siddiqi added. "I think every society has some people who are a little off. He may be one of those."