A teacher ripped the hijab off the head of her Muslim student. pic.twitter.com/9Set4Pjv85— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) November 10, 2017
A teacher at a school in Nashville uploaded a video on Snapchat when she ripped off a student’s hijab to expose her “beautiful” hair to the class.
The incident took place at New Vision Academy Charter School in Nashville. In the video, the student can be seen hiding her face as the teacher forcefully takes off her hijab.
The teacher, who remains unnamed, uploaded a video with a caption that read, “Pretty hair.” Later, she uploaded another video with a caption, “LOL all that hair cover up.”
After the video was uploaded on social media, people criticized the teacher for her unacceptable behavior and informed media outlets of the incident.
Following intense backlash from people, the school released a statement and said the teacher had been suspended without pay.
“New Vision Academy is a diverse school. As a school community, we pride ourselves on embracing and celebrating our racial, ethnic, religious and economic diversity. Our students learn, and grow, best when they learn from one another. To foster this environment, all students must feel respected and supported,” said Tim Malone, executive director of the school.
He further said, “The actions depicted in the Snapchat video do not reflect the values, culture or climate of New Vision Academy. New Vision Academy will continue to emphasize that all staff members act in a way meant to empower and inspire our students. New Vision will use this video as an opportunity to press forward with increasing cultural sensitivity and awareness among all members of the New Vision community. The staff member in question has been suspended, without pay, and we have had direct discussions with the students depicted in the Snapchat. New Vision Academy apologizes for this unfortunate incident, and will be better in the future.”
Kasar Abdulla, who offers Muslim diversity and sensitivity training in local schools, also criticized the teacher’s behavior.
“I highly encourage those faculty members in that particular school to take a crash course on why the hijab is so important to some of my students, and why my students cover up. It's a symbol of who you are, and it's a symbol of your faith, and it's a symbol of your identity. So, it needs to be accepted and recognized,” she said in a televised interview.
Abdulla also said, “I understand peer-to-peer, student-to-student interactions, but as adults it is our duty to model for them. It concerns me. I question, where was the teacher in this incident, and what role did the teacher play? I would like to know some answers from the administration.”
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time a teacher has behaved inappropriately towards a student wearing hijab.
In May, a second-grader suffered minor injuries to her eye after her elementary school teacher allegedly ripped off her hijab as a punishment for “misbehaving” in classroom. Her crime was that she sat in the teacher’s chair without his permission.
Why the hell wasn't that teacher arrested?— jtuck004 (@Cannibal_Sauce) November 10, 2017
It's great that the school is taking corrective action but they shouldn't use the video for training purposes. Student has been traumatized enough.— Kitty (@KM_Zencat) November 10, 2017
This is sick. She must be prosecuted. The psychological effect of that on the girl will last long. Don't schools care about the psychological health of there students or just bcoz the girl was a Muslim it didn't matter? Absolute hypocrisy.— Mona Massoud (@MonaMassoud) November 10, 2017
Spotlight/Banner: Reuters, Olivia Harris