School officials in Orange, N.J., said they had no idea that schoolteacher Marylin Zuniga had instructed her students to write "get well" letters to convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, NJ.com reports. School officials suspended Zuniga on Friday.
Orange Superintendent Ronald Lee said that Zuniga didn't get permission from her students' parents, or receive clearance from school officials, to give the assignment.
"The Orange Public Schools was surprised to learn through recent news reports that one of its teachers, Ms. Marilyn Zuniga, a third-grade teacher at Forest Street Elementary School, involved her students in a 'get well' letter-writing assignment to convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal," the statement from Lee read.
"The school's principal and district administrators vehemently deny that it had any knowledge of the assignment and preliminary inquiries find that no approval was ever sought nor were parents notified about this unauthorized activity," the statement continued.
Abu-Jamal was once on death row but is now serving out a life sentence (without the possibility of parole) for killing Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981. Abu-Jamal has been sick, suffering from complications related to diabetes. Abu-Jamal was a black nationalist leader, and many maintain that he is innocent.
Zuniga on Sunday tweeted about how she was excited for Abu-Jamal to get the "get well" letters from her students.
"My 3rd graders wrote to Mumia to lift up his spirits as he is ill," Zuniga tweeted.
Zuniga's Twitter account has since been deactivated. She did not respond to NJ.com's request for a comment.
Read more at NJ.com.