(Note: This case, including the persons and school involved in it, is different from another slightly-similar case at a school in Concrete, WA)
Ms. Jones responded with a sweeping, irresponsible statement that, “religious Muslims are killing Americans.” One Muslim student, hurt by the comment of his teacher, returned home that night and described the incident to his father.
It did not take long for the family to realize that many of the other students in Ms. Jones’ class were also appalled by the teacher’s hateful words. Parents of the students began to question Ms. Jones’ ability as a teacher and role model for their children. Would such statements increase the hate and prejudice against Muslims already present in the community? Could this viewpoint cause Ms. Jones to mistreat Muslim students? Outraged, one of the parents contacted CAIR-WA for assistance.
CAIR-WA arranged a meeting with Ms. Jones, the school principal, and the concerned parent. During the meeting, the parent expressed their concerns about Ms. Jones comments. Ms. Jones assured the parent that she has no desire to “teach hate.” Ms. Jones said she had decided that the next time a student asked her such a question, she would be sure to clarify that people should not be categorized in such a manner. She also stated that she would give examples of extremists of other backgrounds to remove the bias those students might have developed. Ms. Jones became emotional during the meeting, and recounted negative experiences of several Muslim families she worked with after 9/11 including backlash, hate crimes, and discrimination.
Overall, all parties appeared to be relieved after the meeting. The parent felt reassured that their child could have Ms. Jones as a teacher and a role model. Ms. Jones clarified her perspective and agreed to provide balanced, cautious examples in future class discussions.
Though CAIR-WA typically takes further action in order to “fully resolve” a case, the parent invited Ms. Jones to have lunch or dinner with their family anytime she wanted.
After the meeting, the parent asked that no further action be taken by CAIR-WA and that no formal complaint be filed.