A teacher in a Gwinnett County, Georgia middle school asked a Muslim eighth-grader if she had a bomb in her backpack last week in front of her entire classroom.
The 13-year-old student at Shiloh Middle School is wearing the backpack in question in the picture above from WGCL. The girl’s father, Abdirizak Aden, told the television station that the family are Muslims from Somalia.
The New York Daily News identified the student as Faiza Osman. Osman told the newspaper she heard students gasp when her science teacher asked if she was carrying a bomb during class on Dec. 7. “Her saying that towards me was very disrespectful, but that won’t stop me from doing what I came to do,” she said.
Osman immediately texted her father after the incident and he came to the school, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I was upset,” Aden told the newspaper. “I was going to take my daughter out (of that school).”
Eventually Aden was able to speak with both the teacher and the principal, according to WGCL.
“She said she was joking. Then I said to her, ‘Do you know what’s going on in America? You’re not supposed to joke like this,'” Aden told the television station, referring to the teacher’s explanation of the incident.
The teacher at Shiloh Middle School, who was a regular employee and not a substitute, has not been identified. A spokesman for the school district told the Journal-Constitution that the teacher’s comment was inappropriate, but that school officials don’t believe it was made with “ill intent.”
This incident comes months after Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old Sudanese-American high school student, was arrested for bringing a clock to his Dallas area high school.