U.S. Latest News

Virginia Teacher pulls off student’s hijab and tells classmates her hair is so pretty

By William Martin 1:05 PM November 19, 2017
The student

A teacher in Virginia has come under fire for pulling off the hijab from a student’s head and telling his class that her hair is so pretty.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said that they welcomed the disciplinary action against the teacher who allegedly pulled off his Muslim student’s Islamic headscarf, which is also known as a hijab.

CAIR said the student at the Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke reported online that the teacher came up behind her, pulled off her hijab, and reportedly said: “Oh your hair is so pretty.”

The teacher was placed on leave after the incident.

In a statement responding to the incident, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) said: “The teacher’s action was inappropriate and unacceptable. The school administration has apologized to the student and her family for the incident. FCPS takes this incident seriously and, while a thorough investigation of the incident is conducted, the teacher has been placed on leave.”

“We welcome the decision to place the teacher on leave and to apologize to the student and her family, but further disciplinary action needs to be taken based on the results of the investigation into this disturbing incident,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

“No student should be bullied or attacked because of his or her faith. Teachers must protect students, not subject them to harassment or intimidation,” Awad added.

Awad urged students of all faiths and backgrounds in Virginia and nationwide to report any incidents of bullying or harassment and to speak out when their educational environment is negatively impacted by bigotry.

The victim, who was identified as @yasmemee on Twitter, wrote: “So my hijab was ripped off my head today by a teacher I appreciated and valued.”

She added: “I want justice and I’m going to do what’s necessary to receive that. It doesn’t matter if he’s one of the best teachers at LB. He still chose to touch me, and there are consequences for his actions.”

On Friday, dozens of students walked out of their classroom in support of suspended teacher Lesmond Saunders.

Those students claimed that the teacher did not mean to pull off her hijab.

Instead, Saunders asked the student to remove her hoodie, and when she refused, he removed the hood, which caused her headscarf to come off as well.

The students also said that they did not hear the teacher make a comment about the Muslim student’s hair.

Last week, a teacher at a Tennessee charter school was seen on video pulling off the Islamic headscarf from a student in a classroom.