Target: First Colony Junior High School Principal Scott Wagoner and Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Dr. Charles Dupre
Goal: Terminate teacher who reportedly called a Muslim student a terrorist.
An English/Language Arts teacher in a Fort Bend County, Texas middle school has been removed from the classroom while the school district conducts an investigation into an incident where she allegedly called a Muslim student a terrorist.
Waleed Abushaaban is an honors student at First Colony Junior High School. After having completed tests, he and his classmates spent the rest of the period watching Bend It Like Beckham. Waleed laughed during the movie, prompting his teacher, whose name has not been released, to say, “I wouldn’t be laughing if I was you.” After Waleed asked the teacher why, she reportedly responded by saying “because we all think you’re a terrorist.”
The teacher’s comment sparked other kids in the classroom to mock Waleed. They laughed at him and made jokes at his expense and one student allegedly went so far as to say, “oh, I see a bomb!” The ridicule made Waleed “feel like [he] was put in the corner” and the teacher did nothing to keep the students from engaging in this atrocious, bigoted behavior.
Waleed’s parents and local Muslim leaders are calling for the teacher to be fired and for the students and other teachers at First Colony Middle School to attend religious sensitivity training. Because of her alleged commentary and her failure to keep other students from shaming Waleed Abushaaban for being a Muslim, the teacher should be terminated. This kind of behavior does not befit an educator.
Dear Mr. Wagoner and Dr. Dupre,
Due to an incident involving a Muslim student at First Colony Junior High School that involved the teacher allegedly calling the student a “terrorist” and classmates engaging in ridicule and mockery, we urge you to take steps in terminating the teacher’s employment with First Colony Junior High School and the Fort Bend Independent School District. This kind of behavior is unacceptable for an educator, as clearly pointed out in the District’s statement to KHOU regarding the incident.
To not terminate this teacher would be sending a message that negative Muslim stereotypes, an anti-Muslim classroom, and institutionalized Islamophobic attitude is tolerated. We urge you to not contribute to the wrong side of this divisive social issue. We urge you to send a message that Islamophobia will not be tolerated in any of your schools and that Islamophobia has no place in public education.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Karen Apricot