Dearborn teacher under investigation for alleged racist comments made to students

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Kayla Clarke

DEARBORN, Mich. - An eighth grade student at Stout Middle School in Dearborn said one of her teachers made racist and insensitive remarks regarding her Muslim heritage.

"(He) said that we should take showers because we stink and stuff like that," the 13-year-old student said.

A week after the first incident, on Sept. 23, the student said she was bombarded with more hurtful questions.

"First he said: 'Are you American? Do you want to be? Why don't you go back to your country?' That I should be more grateful because he gives me free food, free education," the student said.

The student reported the comments in a written statement. She said the teacher didn't deny the comments at a meeting with the principal and her mother was told the remarks were misinterpreted.

After the incident Sept. 23 that she had reported, the student said the teacher sat on her desk in her personal space. She said he gave a lecture about invaders, pertaining to science, but she and her friends again felt like he was singling them out, especially her.

"I was shocked. I was like: 'It's not a misunderstanding. He should not have questioned her identity. She is an American. She was born here. I was born here,'" the student's mother said.

The school district said it takes every complaint seriously and the investigation is ongoing. The teacher in question was put on administrative leave as the investigation continues.

"This teacher clearly has a bias against Muslim women who wear the headscarf," Fatina Abdrabboh, with the Muslim American Advocacy League, said.

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