5-year-old boy assaulted by teacher in North Carolina in US for ‘being Muslim’


A 5-year-old Muslim kindergarten student was allegedly assaulted by a woman teacher who grabbed him by the neck and began choking him, the latest in a series of hate incidents reported in the US following Donald Trump’s win. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the country’s largest Muslim civil rights group, has called for an investigation into what it said were assaults by a female teacher on the Muslim kindergarten student at a Charlotte-
Mecklenburg elementary school in North Carolina.

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The assaults at the David Cox Road Elementary School in north Charlotte started at the beginning of the school year, according to CAIR, but the latest incident occurred last week, the Charlotte Observer reported.

“During the first two months of the school year, (the Muslim student) was subjected to relentless bullying and harassment not only by his classmates, but by (the teacher),” Maha Sayed, a civil rights lawyer for the organisation, wrote to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. For example, the teacher routinely singled out the student from his classmates and made him carry a heavy backpack throughout the day, Sayed wrote.

“The backpack contained a large textbook and headphones, which caused (the student) to develop significant back pain,” the letter alleged. The teacher “would also treat (the student) harshly and reportedly called him ‘bad Muslim boy’ on multiple occasions,” it said.

On 16 November, according to the letter, the teacher “reportedly approached (the student)…grabbed him by the neck and began choking him. (Another teacher) then separated the two and began consoling (the student) who was crying and extremely shaken.”

The teacher who reportedly discriminated against the student was named by the New York Daily News as Alma Simpson. The group wants the student transferred “to a safe kindergarten classroom free from discrimination and
retaliatory actions.”

“Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is committed to the safety and well-being of all students,” CMS spokeswoman Renee McCoy was quoted as saying. “CMS takes these allegations seriously and is currently investigating,” McCoy said. The reporting of the alleged discrimination comes amid a notable spike in hate-crime incidents against the minority community following Trump’s election. Many Muslim women have posted on social media describing ‘hijab grab’ attacks on them.

Also, ahead of the polls, a 7-year-old Pakistani-origin boy was allegedly beaten up by five classmates on a school bus in the US for being a Muslim.