A teacher from Tennessee has been suspended after a video went viral on Snapchat of her forcibly removing a student’s hijab.
The footage of the Muslim student from New Vision Academy Charter School in Nashville clutching her head as her hijab was pulled off appeared on the teacher’s Snapchat feed with the caption “pretty hair”.
News 4 obtained the video from a concerned viewer, and sent a reporter to the school to speak with principal Dr Tim Malone, who said the teacher in question told him “exposing the girl’s hair was not done out of disrespect” but denied posting the video.
In the video, the student is hiding her face as someone removed her hijab and exposed her hair to the classroom. Multiple students are also seen playing with the girl’s hair as she tries to readjust it. Someone is heard in the video saying “her hair was too pretty to be covered”.
A second video was then posted with the caption, “Lol all that hair cover up!!!”
News 4 showed the recording to Kasar Abdulla, who offers Muslim diversity and sensitivity training in local schools.
Ms Abdulla said: “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.”
She said she was discouraged to see that the incident happened in a school, but not completely shocked.
“I highly encourage those faculty members in that particular school to take a crash course on why the hijab is so important to some of my students, and why my students cover up. It’s a symbol of who you are, and it’s a symbol of your faith, and it’s a symbol of your identity. So, it needs to be accepted and recognized,” Ms Abdulla told News 4.
The student’s mother and sister were outraged after being shown the video and told News 4 that “this should never happen”.
New Vision Academy has confirmed that the teacher has been suspended without pay.