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NJ district suspends teacher that told Muslim student that he doesn't 'negotiate with terrorists'

Terrorist comment NJ High school
Posted at 10:29 AM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 10:29:05-04

A New Jersey school district has suspended a teacher after a Muslim student claims he was called a "terrorist" by a teacher in front of his class.

In a statement, the Ridgefield School District said it had suspended the staff member involved in the incident, adding that it has "absolutely no tolerance for any sort discrimination (sic) against any student or staff member."

According to WABC-TV in New York City, who first reported the story, 17-year-old Mohammed Zubi says he was in math class at Memorial High School in Ridgefield when he asked his teacher a question.

"He responded saying, 'We don't negotiate with terrorists,'" Mohammed told WABC.

The student added that many of his classmates overheard the comment. Others who were in the room at the time also spoke with WABC to further confirm the incident.

NorthJersey.com reports that the teacher later approached Mohammed and told him that he "didn't mean it like that."

Mohammed and his family later brought their concerns to the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"We are very concerned about these allegations and urge the school district to take appropriate corrective measures following a swift and transparent investigation," CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said in a statement. "This type of insensitive language by an authority figure is unacceptable because it perpetuates stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims."

CAIR-NJ added that the group has also offered the district diversity training for its staff to help combat Islamophobia.

In its statement, the Ridgefield School District added that it "fully intends to pursue any and all legal remedies against the staff member."