The family of a 12-year-old honours student in Texas is calling for his English and Language Arts teacher to be sacked after she allegedly called him a terrorist in the middle of class. The student said after his teacher referred to him as a terrorist, his classmate began mocking him and saying he had a bomb.
Waleed Abushaaban, a seventh-grader at First Colony Middle School, said the incident occurred as he laughed at the movie Bend it Like Beckham with his classmates. The student said his teacher told him: "I wouldn't be laughing if I was you." When he asked why, the teacher reportedly responded: "Because we all think you're a terrorist." That is when his fellow students began to make fun of him.
"They were like 'oh I see a bomb' and they started all laughing and making jokes....I was upset and I felt like I was put in the corner and like everybody was just looking at me," Waleed told reporters.
"Just because my son is a Muslim doesn't mean he is a terrorist," said Malek Abushaaban, according to KHOU report. "He's an American. He's as American as anybody else. He was born here...that's all he knows is how to be an American."
The Dallas Morning News reported that Fort Bend ISD released a statement saying that it does not support the teacher's comments and that she had been removed from the classroom during an investigation. "While the teacher reports her statements were made in the context of trying to make a point about negative stereotypes, District officials do not believe that the teacher exercised the appropriate sensitivity expected of the District's educators," the statement said.
However, the family said they want the teacher to be permanently dismissed. Community activist Quanell X argued: "No religion should be targeted by and disrespected by any administrator on any school campus."