A teacher in Georgia asked a Muslim student if she had a bomb in her backpack.
According to TPM, a teacher at Shiloh Middle School in Gwinnett County asked 13-year-old Faiza Osman in front of the entire classroom last week if she had a bomb in her backpack.
The 8th-grader told her she had books.
The girl’s father, Abdirizak Aden, told CBS 46 that the family are Muslims from Somalia. He’s upset that the teacher would ask his daughter such a question.
He nearly took his daughter out of the school but was put more at ease after the teacher and the school’s principal spoke with him.
Faiza’s older sister — Anab Osman — was in the classroom when she was asked by the teacher if she was carrying a bomb in her backpack.
“‘Why do you have your book bag over your shoulders? Is there a bomb in there?’” Anab Osman said she overheard the teacher saying to Faiza. “It came out of nowhere. My sister was in shock.”
Aden believes that his daughter was singled out over the question because she wears a headscarf, which may draw more attention to her.
Faiza contacted her father after the incident because she was so embarrassed. All she wanted to do was go home at that point.
Aden then went straight to the school to confront the teacher. At first, he was ignored by office staff but was more successful in his second attempt when he met with the assistant principal and teacher.
According to the student’s father, the teacher was joking.
“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,’” said Aden.
The school district apologized on the teacher’s behalf but said she didn’t mean any “ill intent” with her remark. School district representatives say they plan to talk with the teacher about her comments.
Still, Aden isn’t pleased with how things unfolded at his daughter’s school.
“We are from Africa, we are Muslims, we live in America,” he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I didn’t teach my children to hate people or to think they are better than other people.”
Yusof Burke, board president of the Georgia Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations,” issued a statement after the latest misunderstanding involving a Muslim student.
Burke says that the incident “shows the level of Islamophobia impacting people’s relationships with one another. Obviously, a teacher and a student should have a unique kind of relationship … It’s very disturbing to see.”