Teacher Allegedly Mocks Muslim Student After Death of bin Laden

Filed under: In The News

osama bin laden

Following Osama bin Laden's death, a Texas teacher mocked a Muslim student. Credit: AP

A girl at Clearbrook High School in Friendswood, Texas, just happens to come from a Muslim family.

She's not a terrorist. She's just another freshman trying to adjust to high school and navigate the dark waters of adolescence.

Yet, her algebra teacher thought he could have some fun at her expense following the death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin-Laden.

"I bet you're grieving," he reportedly said in front of the entire class May 2. When she asked what he meant, he replied, "I heard about your uncle's death."

The Houston Chronicle reports the girl burst into tears. The teacher allegedly just smirked and walked away.

School district officials in Friendswood (some 35 miles south of Houston) aren't releasing the name of the student or the teacher, but they do tell reporters the teacher has been put on administrative leave as a result of the incident.

Meanwhile, school officials want everyone to know they're not bigots.

"We believe diversity strengthens our community and seek opportunities to celebrate the different cultures within our schools and neighborhoods," the district's public information director Elaina Polsen said in an official statement. "The sentiments allegedly shared by this teacher are not reflective of the staff at Clear Brook High School or anyone within the Clear Creek Independent School District.

"In accordance with CCISD policy, the teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a personnel investigation," the statement continued. "The student did the right thing and immediately notified an adult regarding the teachers' comments. The principal at Clear Brook High School notified the child's parents and has been in communication with the family."

Aziz Siddiqi, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, tells the Chronicle he believes the remark was an isolated incident. However, he adds, he's encouraged by reports that other students helped comfort the girl and reported the incident.

"Her supporters were her classmates," he tells the newspaper. "To them, she's a friend. I would not pay too much attention. It's just one individual. A lot of people suffer because of the actions of one individual. This little girl suffered."

She's not the only one, Siddiqi tells the Chronicle. The teacher is obviously paying for his actions, he says.

"The teacher is going to suffer," Siddiqi tells the newspaper. "I think every society has some people who are a little off. He may be one of those."

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