A Texas high school teacher has been placed on administrative leave following an incident where he allegedly told a 9th grade Muslim girl in his algebra class “I bet that you’re grieving” on Monday following the death of Osama bin Laden.
According to one parent at Clear Brook High School in Houston who spoke about the incident to a local ABC affiliate, the teacher also said, “I heard about your uncle’s death.”
The parent said the student “understood that he was referring about Osama bin Laden being killed and was racially profiling her.”The name of the alleged victim of the comment has not been released. She is being described as an “American-born girl of Muslim faith.”
The teacher allegedly showed no remorse after Muslim girl reacted to his comments, according to the parent (who requested anonymity from the ABC station because “she doesn’t want any retaliation against her daughter or the girl who experienced the inappropriate comment.”)
“The student ended up crying over what was said to her by the teacher and the teacher asked her why she was crying and another student said it was because of what you said earlier,” the parent told the station. “And his response was, oh, OK, and just kind of smirked and giggled and walked away.”
The Houston Chronicle reports the unidentified teacher “has been placed on administrative leave” following the alleged remark. The Chronicle published this official statement from the school district:
In the Clear Creek Independent School District, we believe diversity strengthens our community and seek opportunities to celebrate the different cultures within our schools and neighborhoods. 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 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.
The alleged incident in Texas is just the latest in a short string of small incidents targeting American Muslims following the death of bin Laden. A mosque in Portland, ME was vandalized in what police there are calling a hate crime and a Muslim unity rally was canceled in Portland, OR after organizers feared reprisals from both non-Muslims upset over terrorism and Muslims who organizers said might be angry by an event that supported the killing of bin Laden.