A Nashville, Tenn. teacher has been suspended after videos circulated on social media showing a student covering her face while someone ripped her hijab off her head and exposed her hair in front of other students, WSMV reported.
Two videos were posted from the New Vision Academy Charter School teacher’s Snapchat account showing the incident with the captions “pretty hair,” and “LOL all that hair cover up,” according to WSMV.
A “concerned viewer” recorded the incident and sent the video to local media, WSMV reported. New Vision Academy told WSMV that the teacher was suspended without pay following the incident.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for “a criminal investigation and the firing” of the teacher, the group said in a press release.
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“The video depicts a criminal assault, evidently motivated by the religious identity of the student, which makes this a possible hate crime,” said the council’s senior litigation attorney, Gadeir Abbas, in the press release. “We call on local law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident, determine who removed the student’s hijab, and take appropriate action to hold that person accountable.”
Muslims were the second most targeted religious group in hate crimes in 2016, according to a hate crime report released by the FBI Monday. Jewish people accounted for 54 percent of religious hate crime, while 24 percent were Muslim victims.
Muslim children in the U.S. are more likely to be bullied in school compared to children of other religions, according to a recent survey from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. The report found that 42 percent of Muslims said their children experienced faith-related bullying at school and that 60 percent of American Muslims have faced bullying in the last year.
People on Facebook also called for the teacher to be fired in response to the WSMV report.
“Suspended? She needs to be fired. This is teaching children at a young age to disrespect another human being,” one person commented on Facebook.
“The teacher should be fired if she removed the hijab as it is most definitely not her place. It is extremely rude and disrespectful to the girl, her culture, and her desire to be modest,” another person commented on Facebook.
More than 600 people have signed a Change.org petition calling for the school district to fire the teacher.