Louisiana teacher removed after hijab incident
A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today applauded the actions of a Louisiana high school that removed a social studies teacher who allegedly pulled on the Islamic head scarf, or hijab, of a Muslim student and made offensive remarks about her faith.
The 17-year-old student at West Jefferson High School in Harvey, La., told the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that the teacher pulled back her religiously-mandated head scarf during a world history class on January 30th. After pulling on the student’s scarf, the teacher allegedly said: “I hope God punishes you. No, I’m sorry, I hope Allah punishes you. I didn’t know you had hair under there.” The student, who is of Iraqi heritage, told CAIR that the teacher had previously made offensive remarks about other students’ ethnic or religious background.
West Jefferson High School Principal Lale Geer today told CAIR that the teacher had been removed from the school. Geer also stressed that his school respects students of all cultures and that such behavior will not be tolerated.
“We appreciate the school’s swift and decisive action in response to this shocking incident,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “All students, regardless of their religious or ethnic background, should feel safe in our nation’s classrooms.”
Hooper said a similar incident occurred recently in the United Kingdom. In that case, the teacher allegedly pulled off the hijab of a teenage student and called Islam “a joke.”