A Georgia father is claiming that his 13-year-old daughter was singled out at Shiloh Middle School in Snellville, because of her religion, and he's demanding answers, CBS46 reports.
Abdirizak Aden said that his daughter was in her science class when her teacher asked her, in front of the entire class, if she had a bomb in her backpack. The family, who are originally from Somalia and are Muslim, believe that the child was singled out because of her religion. The 13-year-old was wearing a hijab at the time, which is what Aden believes led the teacher to target her.
"Why do you have your book bag over your shoulders? Is there a bomb in there?" the girl's older sister, Anab Osman, recalled for the news station. "It came out of nowhere. My sister was in shock."
"I was very, very upset," Aden said.
"The whole class heard it," Anab Osman added. "No one could believe it. What kind of teacher says that?"
The mortified child called her father and asked to go home because of the embarrassment. Her father went to the school to confront the teacher.
"She said she was joking. Then I said to her, 'Do you know what's going on in America? You're not supposed to joke like this,' " the concerned father said.
"We're Muslim but we're also Americans, and the right that other students have, we do, too," Anab Osman said.
According to CBS46, the school district has apologized for the teacher's comment but also said that it wasn't meant to cause harm.
“Her saying that towards me was very disrespectful, but that won’t stop me from doing what I came to do,” the 13-year-old told the New York Daily News. “I came in fifth grade, and in fifth, sixth and seventh, nobody ever said anything like that because they respect my religion.”
Aden added that he was so upset, he was tempted to pull the child from the school, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“We are from Africa, we are Muslims, we live in America,” he said. “I didn’t teach my children to hate people or to think they are better than other people. I don’t want nobody to treat them like that.”