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CAIR-DFW Welcomes Resignation of Two McKinney ISD Middle School Teachers After Islamophobic, Hateful Tweets

(DALLAS, TX, 1/20/2018) – The Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-DFW) today welcomed the resignation of two McKinney ISD middle school teachers who posted Islamophobic and hateful tweets on their social media. 

Last week, CAIR-DFW called on the McKinney ISD to probe into the impact two Cockrill Hill Middle School teachers had on students after parents of students from McKinney ISD contacted CAIR-DFW regarding their concerning social media posts.

In those posts, teachers Justin Barton and Mark Russell referred to Islam as a “satanic death cult,” an “evil ideology,” and “a political ideology”¦[that] cannot assimilate. It must dominate.” Highly offensive anti-Muslim propaganda was retweeted numerous times. The teachers also attacked the LGBTQ community and equated being transgender with having a mental illness, perversity, and delusion.

In a letter to McKinney ISD’s superintendent, CAIR-DFW called for an investigation into the teachers’ impact on students, disciplinary action, protection from retaliation for McKinney ISD students, and diversity training for staff.

“We welcome the resignation of these two teachers, but we will continue to raise concerns about allegations of religious discrimination and lack of inclusivity at McKinney ISD,” said CAIR-DFW’s Legal Director Nikiya Natale. “We seek to ensure that hate and discrimination are addressed and that all McKinney ISD staff members are required to have thorough, effective and accurate diversity training.” 

SEE: McKinney middle school teachers resign after posting anti-gay and anti-Islam tweets

McKinney ISD recently came under fire for allegations that the school district is openly endorsing Christianity. A group of concerned parents have been pressing the school for months to mandate that teachers remove religious displays from the classroom. Both Barton and Russell spoke in support of the school at the December 2017 McKinney ISD Board of Trustees’ meeting.

McKinney ISD also recently faced criticism for its superintendent-led Christian prayer at its back-to-school convocation, which was held at Prestonwood Baptist Church.

SEE: Prayer at McKinney ISD’s mandatory staff assembly draws formal complaints

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization is also calling for diversity training for all school staff using CAIR’s “An Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices,” which is designed to help school officials provide a positive learning environment for Muslim students.

SEE: An Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices

A recent report by CAIR’s California office revealed that Muslim students are bullied at twice the rate as the national average.

CAIR-CA Report: More Than Half of Muslim Students in California Experience Bullying, Discrimination

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. 

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-DFW Legal Director Nikiya Natale, 469-980-0310,


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