JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville family recently filed a complaint with the school board, claiming a teacher at a Southside elementary school discriminated against their daughter because she’s Muslim.
Ten-year-old Alana Scott said she was forbidden to perform with her school orchestra because of her religion. Alana wears a head scarf and said her orchestra teacher at Pine Forest Elementary School ridiculed her for wearing it and wouldn’t allow her to perform in a concert.
The girl’s mother, Latisha Jones, recently filed a discrimination complaint with the school board on her daughter’s behalf.
Alana told her mother that her music teacher questioned why she wears her head scarf and that the same teacher was the one who refused to let her play her instrument with her classmates.
The 10-year-old told Channel 4 she has learned a lot at school, and that this year she has learned about discrimination.
“I want them to know that sometimes teachers don’t know everything,” Alana said. “It made me feel horrible.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations became involved in the case when Alana said her cello instructor made several derogatory comments about her head scarf.
“Why do you wear that nun thing? She explained to him this is called a he jeb, an Islamic head scarf and the reason why we wear it is for our religion. He mockingly told her, ‘Why would you do something like that?'” said Ahmed Bedier of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Jones said things went from bad to worse for her daughter at the school when the teacher would not allow Alana to get on a school bus to perform at a school concert downtown. She said she believes it was because of her Muslim beliefs.
Together, Alana’s family and the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed a complaint with the school board.