A Teacher allegedly pulled off a 2nd grader’s hijab in front of her class on Wednesday at Seth Boyden Elementary school. A New Jersey school district is investigating an incident and the case now has executive director of The Council on American-Islamic Relations of New Jersey, as well as hundreds of others, calling for that educator to be fired.
According to NBC New York, the girl’s mother and Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, from Maplewood, made the allegations about a Seth Boyden Elementary school teacher in a social media posts on Thursday, saying that the teacher told the young girl that her hair was beautiful and she did not have to wear hijab to school.
“The young student resisted, by trying to hold onto her hijab, but the teacher pulled the hijab off, exposing her hair to the class,” Olympic fencer wrote in her Instagram post.
NBC also reported that fencer said that “Imagine being a child and stripped of your clothing in front of your classmates. Imagine the humiliation and trauma this experience has caused her. This is abuse. Schools should be a haven for all of our kids to feel safe, welcome and protected no matter their faith,” she added. “We cannot move toward a post-racial America until we weed out the racism and bigotry that still exist in all layers of our society. By protecting Muslim girls who wear hijab, we are protecting the rights of all of us to have a choice in the way we dress.”
Executive director, Selaedin Maksut, of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, on Friday called for the “immediate termination” of the teacher.
“Racist teachers like this cannot be trusted around our children,” Maksut tweeted.
Teacher pulls off 7 year old’s hijab…in front of the class.
Our @CAIRNJ office is calling for immediate termination.
Racist teachers like this cannot be trusted around our children.
— Selaedin Maksut (@MSelaedin) October 8, 2021
According to US NJ.com media reports, Ron Ricci, a Totowa attorney says he represents the teacher, told NJ Advance Media “the allegations posted by the Olympic fencer are 100 percent untrue.”
According to NJ.com spokeswoman for the district, Anide Eustache, released a statement on Friday acknowledging that a discrimination allegation was being taken seriously and that district officials are investigating.
“We were alerted to social media posts related to the allegations. Social media is not a reliable forum for due process and the staff member(s) involved are entitled to due process before any action is taken,” the statement said.
“We will utilize the existing district due process mechanisms to ensure fair and just outcomes based upon the results of our investigation,” the statement said. “Any decision or outcome related to this will be reserved for after the completion of the investigation.”