An Orange Park High School teacher told a class that all Muslims are terrorists waging war against Americans and Christians, a 16-year-old Muslim student told the Times-Union on Thursday. School officials confirmed they have been notified of the student’s claim.
“All I can say is we are investigating it and we’ll deal with whatever the outcome is,” Clay County schools Superintendent David Owens said.
The student, Ferzana Rajpoot, said she is new to the class and was unable to provide names of any students who may have heard the exchange Jan. 17.
The Times-Union is not identifying the teacher because the school district would not confirm his name. The teacher did not respond to a call seeking comment.
Rajpoot and her father have since turned to a national Islamic advocacy group for help. The Council on American-Islamic Relations sent a letter informing the school system about the accusation. The letter sent Wednesday asked for a prompt investigation, a written apology from the teacher and implementation of diversity training for educators. . .
Rajpoot’s father, Mohammed Shahid, said he heard the story a day later and immediately called a friend, Parvez Ahmed, a Jacksonville resident who is the national chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“If a teacher is standing in front of 15 to 20 students and telling them this girl is a terrorist, the safety thing comes to mind,” Shahid said.
Ahmed said he’s pleased with the school system’s response so far. He said the organization has been told that the teacher has expressed regret and has been reprimanded verbally. Also, he said, school officials have agreed to meet council representatives next week. (MORE)