NJ teacher Tamar Herman accused of removing hijab from grade 9 student speaks out
Authorities in Maplewood, New Jersey, have launched an investigation into allegations that a teacher “forcibly” removed a second-grader’s hijab, an incident the instructor called a misunderstanding.
The alleged October 6 incident at Seth Boyden Elementary School sparked an online storm after fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim-American Olympic medalist, job about it on Facebook last week.
South Orange-Maplewood School District officials informed parents of the police investigation in a letter to parents on Tuesday, according to NorthJersey.com.
After initially announcing that social media was not a “reliable forum for due process,” Superintendent Ronald Taylor reportedly sent a letter to parents saying the school was suspending its internal investigation and returning the investigation to the cops.
The accused teacher Tamar Herman told the media through her lawyer that the child was not even wearing a hijab and that the event was a misunderstanding.
âLast week I asked one of my students to pull up the hood of her sweatshirt because it was covering her eyes,â Herman reportedly said.
âWith her mask too, her whole face was covered. I gently caught her attention by rubbing the front of her hood. The moment I realized she wasn’t wearing her usual hijab underneath, she kept the look on. hoodie and the learning continued.
An attorney for the girl’s family disputed Herman’s denial, according to the article.
“I want to clarify that we have obtained an independent verification which fully corroborates the claim of the student,” said Robert L Tarver in a statement.
Muhammad’s original post prompted thousands of people outside the district to flood the school with complaints, some of them “vulgar” and “threatening,” according to the report.
“We must stand together and speak out vehemently against discrimination in all its forms,” ââthe Maplewood native wrote, sharing the school’s contact details.
The unidentified girl has not returned to class and Herman is “not around indefinitely,” officials said, according to the report.