A 12-year-old Muslim boy has accused his teacher of religiously targeting him by calling him a “terrorist” in front of his peers in the US state of Texas, prompting school authorities to probe the incident.
Waleed Abushaaban, a 7th grade student in First Colony Middle School has been the butt of “bomb” jokes and ridicule from his fellow classmates after his teacher made the careless crack, a local TV KHOU.Com reported.
The teacher allegedly made the insensitive comment when her class had been watching the movie “Bend it Like Beckham” after taking an exam and Waleed let out a loud laugh at a joke in the movie.
“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.”
After that comment other students started making fun of him and started calling him a “bomb”.
“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 added.
The English and Language Arts teacher was immediately removed from the classroom after the accusations, and Waleed’s family wants her gone for good.
“Just because my son is a Muslim doesn’t mean he is a terrorist,” said Malek Abushaaban, Waleed’s father. “He’s as American as anybody else. He was born here … That’s all he knows is how to be an American.”
The family is also calling for the school to get religious sensitivity training.
The Fort Bend school district released a statement about the accusations saying they do “not support the teacher’s actions.”
“No religion should be targeted by and disrespected by any administrator on any school campus,” said Quanell X, a community activist.
The school has removed the English and Language Arts teacher from the classroom while it investigates; however, Waleed’s family want her permanently dismissed.