A teaching assistant in New Jersey was suspended after allegedly saying “we don’t negotiate with terrorists” to a student.
Mohammed Zubi told WABC-TV people were “in shock” after the teacher made the remark.
The Ridgefield School District is conducting an investigation into the incident.
A New Jersey teacher was suspended after being accused of saying, “we don’t negotiate with terrorists,” in response to an Arab-Muslim student’s question during math class earlier this month.
The alleged incident happened at Ridgefield Memorial High School after Mohammed Zubi, 17, asked the teaching assistant if the class could have additional time to complete an assignment, CNN reported.
“He responded saying, ‘we don’t negotiate with terrorists,’ so I look around in shock, there’s people laughing, and there’s other people in shock, and I turn around and ask my friend, ‘did he really just say that?’ and she said yes,” Zubi told WABC-TV.
Another student, Nichoalas Velez, told the news station that the unidentified teacher’s remarks shocked everyone in the classroom.
According to CNN, the high school senior did not go to school for about a week after the insult.
The Ridgefield School District is conducting an investigation into the incident and said it “has absolutely no tolerance for any sort of discrimination against any student or staff member,” NJ.com reported.
In the statement, the district added that it will “pursue any and all legal remedies against the staff member.”
“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 district’s statement continued, according to the report.
In response to the allegations, New Jersey’s Council on American Islamic Relations Executive Director Selaedin Maksut called for a transparent investigation, according to an October 22 statement. In addition, the advocacy group offered the district “training for its teachers and staff to help combat Islamophobia and bullying. “
“Education around Islam and Muslims for educators is necessary because even 20 years after 9/11, these ugly stereotypes continue to show up in our classroom, and that’s unacceptable,” Masksut told CNN earlier this week.
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