CA: TEACHER ACCUSED OF ANTI-MUSLIM STATEMENTS
The director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno has accused an elementary teacher of making anti-Muslim statements to his sixth-grade students at Riverview Elementary School.
Center Director Kamal Abu-Shamsieh on Thursday called for the Clovis Unified School District to investigate and make sure teachers stick to state-sanctioned classroom lessons.
"I don't believe schools are a place to debate political views on international affairs or any other affairs that are not related to teaching our children," Abu-Shamsieh said.
He said it was his obligation to "expose such hate-filled statements."
District officials learned of the center's concerns Thursday and are investigating, said Kelly Avants, director of communications for Clovis Unified.
"We take any allegation extremely seriously," Avants said.
She urged those with concerns about "racially insensitive" students or staff to let district officials know. The district listed several events and programs aimed at helping students understand various cultures.
The teacher, whom Abu-Shamsieh named as Randy Ingram, did not return a phone call Thursday. Avants would not confirm who the teacher was. Riverview Principal Kristie Wiens referred calls to Avants.
Abu-Shamsieh said a Muslim boy of Iranian descent was in the teacher's class when the teacher expressed anti-Muslim and anti-Iranian views. The boy's mother contacted the Islamic Cultural Center; she said it was not the first time the teacher had made such comments, Abu-Shamsieh said.
Abu-Shamsieh said the teacher told students that Iranians are enemies of Americans and that they want to destroy Israel. The teacher also said that extreme Muslims and Iranians want to take over the United States, kill teachers and hire their own teachers for schools, Abu-Shamsieh said.
Avants said in a news release that the teacher's comments allegedly were made during a lesson about ancient cultures, which the state requires sixth-graders to learn.