Muslim teacher subjected to wave of death threats from California students following Trump’s election
A middle school in San Jose, California has been accused of doing little more than holding workshops and giving slaps on the wrist to students who have called a Muslim teacher a “terrorist” and made threats to “shoot her” since the election of President Donald Trump.
According to the Mercury News, Maimona Afzal Berta, along with several other Muslim teachers at Fischer Middle School, have been terrorized by students with Berta now having to be walked to her classroom by her husband — also a teacher at the school – because she no longer feels safe.
The report states that on September 11th of this year, Berta entered her classroom expecting to teach Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, only to find her classroom covered in anti-Muslim slurs and obscenities scrawled on her classroom’s windows and doors. The report also notes racist graffiti also defaced other rooms on the San Jose campus.
“It was devastating,” the special-education teacher, who has been teaching for five years since graduating from college at age 18, said. “I felt completely targeted, and not even safe in a place I consider home.”
According to the report, police have been alerted to the attack on the room – -as well as other incidents such as students kicking her classroom door and shout “shoot her” — but little has been done since the school lacks surveillance cameras.
The school district has condemned the attacks, saying no one at the school should feel “marginalized,” as Fischer principal Imee Almazan pinpointed when the attacks began on the teacher who wears a hijab in ther classroom: the election of President Donald Trump.
The White House example “creates a lot of chaos that is unnecessary,” explained Almazan, “when you have a leader of country who is saying what he is saying.”
According to the report, one student was given lunch detention in October after there was banging on her door, with someone yelling “shoot her.
Regarding that incident, Berta complained, “Students will get lunch detention for wearing colored shirts or not wearing their lanyard. To put saying ‘shoot her’ in the same category as a dress code violation didn’t make any sense to me.”
In an other incident a student gestured as if he were shooting a gun at her which resulted in him being transferred to another school and the police being notified.
A fellow teacher — and union rep at Fisher — said that student assemblies and workshops have not been enough to stop the harassment.
“If a kid doesn’t get pulled out immediately for egregious behavior, word gets out fast,” said Randy Barber.
“I’m tired of the lip service. You can’t keep telling people that you care and want to stop hate and yet you don’t follow through with actions,” Berta said, claiming school officials have offered to transfer her to another school which she refused.
You can read the whole report here.