A Texas teacher allegedly called a 12-year-old Muslim student in her class a terrorist.
The family of seventh-grader Waleed Abushaaban, who is an honor student at First Colony Middle School in Sugar Land, Texas, is demanding that the school fire the English and Language Arts teacher for calling their son a terrorist on March 31 in front of his entire class, KHOU reports.
“We're in the class watching a movie,” Waleed said. “And I was just laughing at the movie and the teacher said, ‘I wouldn’t be laughing if I was you.’ And I said why? She said, ‘because we all think you're a terrorist.'"
Following the teacher’s comment, students began making fun of Waleed.
"They were like, ‘oh I see a bomb!’ and they started all laughing and making jokes. I was upset and I felt like I was put in the corner and like everybody was just looking at me," Waleed said.
Waleed had been told previously by his parents about bigotry and they advised him to “ignore” anti-Muslim statements, according to the Houston Chronicle.
"Her one statement, out of line, out of context, provided a reaction from kids who don't know any better," the family’s attorney, Husein Hadi, said.
The teacher has been removed from the classroom while the school investigates, KHOU reports.
Waleed’s family wants her fired, and they have the support of Quanell X, the leader of the New Black Panther Party in Houston, Texas.
“No religion should be targeted by and disrespected by any administrator on any school campus,” Quanell X said.
“Just because my son is a Muslim doesn't mean he is a terrorist,” Waleed’s father, Malek Abushaaban said. “He's an American. He's as American as anybody else. He was born here … that's all he knows is how to be an American.”
Fort Bend Independnt School District said in a statement that the teacher’s comment was made “in the context of trying to make a point about negative stereotypes” and that they “do not believe that the teacher exercised the appropriate sensitivity expected of the District’s educators, and do not believe that the statements were made in a manner that is in keeping with the District’s Core Beliefs and Commitments.”
Quanell X believes a zero-tolerance policy should be applied to the teacher.
"Have the same zero-tolerance policy for the administration and this teacher's inappropriate behavior as you would have for this young kid,” he said, according to the Houston Chronicle.