A teacher who called a 12-year-old boy a “terrorist” has been placed on paid administrative leave in Texas.
The schoolboy, 12 –year-old Waleed Abushaaban, was watching the UK film “Bend It Like Beckham” with his classmates after they had completed some school tests at the First Colony Middle School in Fort Bend County, as reported by KHOU.com, when he was insulted by the teacher.
“We were in the class watching a movie,” explained Mr Abushaaban to reporters, “and I was just laughing at the movie and the teacher said, ‘I wouldn’t be laughing if I was you.’ And I said why? She said, ‘because we all think you’re a terrorist.”
He added that classmates started to make fun of him with comments like: “I see a bomb!”
The English and Language Arts teacher was put on paid leave and the pupil’s family wish the teacher to be fired and for the school to provide religious sensitivity training for pupils and teachers.
The teacher argued to the school she made the comment to “make a point about negative stereotypes”.
“Bend It Like Beckham” is a film about a young woman from an orthodox Sikh family who wants to become a professional football player.
The boy’s father Malek told the press that his son has been raised to be an American and that “is all he knows”.
“Just because my son is a Muslim does not mean he is a terrorist,” he said.
The school district authorities said in a statement that after they learned of the incident the teacher was immediately placed on leave.
“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, and do not believe that the statements were made in a manner that is in keeping with the District’s Core Beliefs and Commitments,” the statement read.