A Teacher Was Suspended After A Video Surfaced Of A Muslim Student's Hijab Being Pulled Off

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A SnapChat video of someone removing a student’s hijab and exposing her hair to the class while she tried to hide her face made the rounds on social media this week, reports News 4 in Tennessee. 

In the video, other students can be seen playing with the girl’s hair as she tries to cover herself again. The initial video was recorded in a classroom in the New Vision Academy Charter School in Nashville, and it was posted with the caption, “pretty hair.” A second video was also posted from the same classroom with the caption, “lol all that hair cover up.”

After seeing it on social media, reportedly posted from the teacher’s own SnapChat, a viewer sent the video to News 4. The viewer was reportedly concerned and upset that the girl had seemingly been told her hair was too pretty to be covered by a hijab.

News 4 then showed the video to Kasar Abdulla, the chief diversity, equality and inclusion officer for Valor Collegiate Academies. She offers Muslim sensitivity and diversity training in local schools and shook her head while watching the video. 

"As a female, and as a mother of three daughters, it should never be okay to rip off an article of clothing off of a female, period," Abdulla said.

Unfortunately, Muslim students being discriminated against and bullied in schools is not a new or uncommon thing and there are reportedly upticks in bullying incidents after any terrorist attacks in the world. In late 2015, following the Paris and San Bernardino attacks and during President Trump's campaign, the nonprofit group Crisis Text Line said that the number of students contacting their confidential help line feeling scared or upset because they were being bullied for identifying as Muslim increased 6.6 times the prior average.

Tuesday afternoon, News 4 met with the principal of the school, Dr. Tim Malone. After doing some investigating off-camera, he initially said the teacher flat-out denied making a video and said that exposing the girl’s hair was not intended to be disrespectful.

That statement didn’t sit well with the girl’s family, who got involved in the debate by Tuesday night. The video upset the student’s mother and sister, who told News 4, “This should never happen.”

As of Wednesday, the teacher has been suspended without pay and the school put out a statement apologizing for the incident and promising to “be better” in the future in regards to issues concerning cultural sensitivity.

Her Campus has reached out for comment from New Vision Academy Charter School.

About The Author

Emily Gray is a native Wisconsinite and is currently a sophomore at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities pursuing a major in Journalism, and minors in both Spanish Studies and the Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance. She writes for Her Campus as a news blogger, and when she's not writing, she enjoys finding prime reading spots on campus and delighting in spotting dogs on campus.