A Gwinnett County, Georgia, school apologized after a teacher asked a 12-year-old Muslim girl if she had a bomb in her backpack.
The girl’s father, Abdirizak Aden, said that his daughter was going to class when a teacher asked her what was inside her bookbag. The eighth-grade girl told the teacher that she had books in her bag, but the teacher continued to question her — asking if there was a bomb inside.
“My daughter wanted to know why she was asking her that,” Aden said. The father said he had a simple, powerful message for his daughter after the shocking incident.
“You know who you are, you’re not a terrorist,” he told his daughter, according to WSBTV. “Other people’s judgments don’t matter.”
The girl's family filed a report with the school, and the assistant principal subsequently met with both the family and the teacher who asked the question, reported WSBTV. The school is currently taking action.
“The remark was not appropriate,” a statement from the school read, according to WSBTV. “However, based on the school’s investigation, it does not appear that the teacher made the remark with any ill intent.”
Aden, who works as a truck driver and grocery store owner, said he was so upset that he considered taking his daughter out of the school, reported Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“We are from Africa, we are Muslims, we live in America,” he said, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I didn’t teach my children to hate people or to think they are better than other people. I don’t want nobody to treat them like that.”