Seth Boyden teacher accused of removing student's hijab during class

Here's an article from The Patch but this has already made national news.

https://patch.com/new-jersey/maplewood/maplewood-probes-whether-teacher-removed-students-hijab-reports

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The South Orange-Maplewood School District said in a statement that it's investigating an allegation that an elementary school teacher "forcibly" removed a student's hijab during class on Wednesday.

The matter came to light Thursday after Olympic fencer and Maplewood native Ibtihaj Muhammad posted on Facebook that an elementary school teacher in Maplewood had "forcibly" removed a student's hijab the day before.

A report in RLSMedia said Muhammad is a friend of the mother of the student involved in the incident.

Muhammad wrote: "Yesterday...a teacher at Seth Boyden Elementary in Maplewood, NJ forcibly removed the hijab of a second grade student. The young student resisted by trying to hold onto her hijab, but the teacher pulled the hijab off, exposing her hair to the class. [The teacher] told the student that her hair was beautiful and she did not have to wear hijab to school anymore."

Muhammad, the author of a book about wearing a hijab, added, "I wrote this book with the intention that moments like this would never happen again. When will it stop?"

The hijab is a veil worn by Muslim women.

The school district released this statement Thursday night, noting that they were only aware of the allegation via social media, but were investigating:

District Statement Regarding Allegation of Discrimination

Today, we were made aware of an allegation of discrimination and immediately began an investigation. The District takes matters of discrimination extremely seriously.

This evening, we were alerted to social media posts related to the allegations. Social Media is not a reliable forum for due process and the staff member(s) involved are entitled to due process before any action is taken.

We must abide by our legal obligations to keep personnel and student matters confidential. We will utilize the existing District due process mechanisms to ensure fair and just outcomes based upon the results of our investigation. Any decision or outcome related to this will be reserved for after the completion of the investigation.

We remain committed to diversity, equity and inclusion throughout our schools including providing anti-bias and anti-racism training for all educators in the district on a regular basis. We put the words into action as exemplified by our adoption of an intentional integration plan, creation of an Assistant Superintendent position focused on Access & Equity and engagement with outside equity experts.

Regardless of the results of the investigation, we are committed to restorative practices to help our students, staff and families process the social-emotional harms done.

School District of South Orange Maplewood

Post Shared 700 Times

Muhammad's Facebook post drew more than 200 comments and was shared on Facebook more than 700 times by Friday morning. She encouraged people to email the school district.

Watch Maplewood Patch for further developments.

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Assuming this actually happened, I kind of have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, as a general anti-religionist, I hate the idea of a hajib. It's just a means of female subjugation and I think it's horrible. I cringe when I see them. And that goes double when I see a child wear one.

OTOH hand of course, this is America, religious liberty and all that, and if this incident happened as described, I'd fire the teacher, mostly for being a moron.


drummerboy said:

Assuming this actually happened, I kind of have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, as a general anti-religionist, I hate the idea of a hajib. It's just a means of female subjugation and I think it's horrible. I cringe when I see them. And that goes double when I see a child wear one.

OTOH hand of course, this is America, religious liberty and all that, and if this incident happened as described, I'd fire the teacher, mostly for being a moron.

 I find it hard to believe you wrote that.  I wonder if Ibtihaj Muhammad feels the same way.


tjohn said:

 I find it hard to believe you wrote that.  I wonder if Ibtihaj Muhammad feels the same way.

 The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad | Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (lbyr.com)


Teacher was really dumb to do that.  End of story.  Question will be whether or not this person will be fired.


tjohn said:

drummerboy said:

Assuming this actually happened, I kind of have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, as a general anti-religionist, I hate the idea of a hajib. It's just a means of female subjugation and I think it's horrible. I cringe when I see them. And that goes double when I see a child wear one.

OTOH hand of course, this is America, religious liberty and all that, and if this incident happened as described, I'd fire the teacher, mostly for being a moron.

 I find it hard to believe you wrote that.  I wonder if Ibtihaj Muhammad feels the same way.

I honestly could care less if I disagree with someone who supports wearing a hijab, regardless of who they are. Naturally they are going to rationalize it and deny its real meaning. Being an Olympian does not make you wise.


drummerboy said:

I honestly could care less if I disagree with someone who supports wearing a hijab, regardless of who they are. Naturally they are going to rationalize it and deny its real meaning. Being an Olympian does not make you wise.

 What this discussion doesn't need is your personal opinion of hijab. If you want to discuss it further, start a "Soapbox" thread.


nohero said:

 What this discussion doesn't need is your personal opinion of hijab. If you want to discuss it further, start a "Soapbox" thread.

 yes sir!!


I don't really see where religion comes into this at all. That was an egregious violation of the student's personal space and bodily autonomy.


drummerboy said:

Assuming this actually happened, I kind of have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, as a general anti-religionist, I hate the idea of a hajib. It's just a means of female subjugation and I think it's horrible. I cringe when I see them. And that goes double when I see a child wear one.

OTOH hand of course, this is America, religious liberty and all that, and if this incident happened as described, I'd fire the teacher, mostly for being a moron.

 would you feel the same way if a teacher forcibly removed a Cross, Turban or Star of David?  If true, the teacher should be fired and have charges brought against them.  Religious intolerance from a teacher in a public school is unacceptable


PVW said:

I don't really see where religion comes into this at all. That was an egregious violation of the student's personal space and bodily autonomy.

 It's all of the above. (Again assuming the allegation is true).


drummerboy said:

Assuming this actually happened, I kind of have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, as a general anti-religionist, I hate the idea of a hajib. It's just a means of female subjugation and I think it's horrible. I cringe when I see them. And that goes double when I see a child wear one.

OTOH hand of course, this is America, religious liberty and all that, and if this incident happened as described, I'd fire the teacher, mostly for being a moron.

How very Euro/Western-ethnic of you.

Has it ever occurred to you that to Hajib wearers has a completely different meaning? But, we of Western culture always know better so we'll just decide for them.

Its no wonder why so many despise us. It was European colonialism. Now its ethnic imposition. The big white Western father deciding for all.


When I first heard about the incident I thought it was royally **** up.  Then I heard who the teacher was and I had to reassess because I couldn’t imagine her doing something like this in a million years.


The mother of the child had posted a video, which she since removed.  In it the mother was coaching her child.  Other aspects of the video also raised some red flags, probably why it was removed.  I hope the teacher’s lawyers are able to get a copy of the full video.

My son had the teacher in question, who I won’t name because thankfully no one else here has named her yet.  My son is hypersensitive to unkind treatment, and not just of his own person. Many times over the years he has come home from school to report something someone has said or done to someone else that he witnessed and he was upset by. But he had nothing bad to say about this teacher.   I can’t imagine her being that callous towards a child.  If other students in the class verify the sequence of events then I would actually hope the teacher is checked out by a medical professional for dementia or other health issues that could cause such a drastic change in personality because the behavior described would not have been done by this woman.


spontaneous said:

When I first heard about the incident I thought it was royally **** up.  Then I heard who the teacher was and I had to reassess because I couldn’t imagine her doing something like this in a million years.


The mother of the child had posted a video, which she since removed.  In it the mother was coaching her child.  Other aspects of the video also raised some red flags, probably why it was removed.  I hope the teacher’s lawyers are able to get a copy of the full video.

My son had the teacher in question, who I won’t name because thankfully no one else here has named her yet.  My son is hypersensitive to unkind treatment, and not just of his own person. Many times over the years he has come home from school to report something someone has said or done to someone else that he witnessed and he was upset by. But he had nothing bad to say about this teacher.   I can’t imagine her being that callous towards a child.  If other students in the class verify the sequence of events then I would actually hope the teacher is checked out by a medical professional for dementia or other health issues that could cause such a drastic change in personality because the behavior described would not have been done by this woman.

 So, you're saying we should wait for a full investigation?


tjohn said:

spontaneous said:

When I first heard about the incident I thought it was royally **** up.  Then I heard who the teacher was and I had to reassess because I couldn’t imagine her doing something like this in a million years.


The mother of the child had posted a video, which she since removed.  In it the mother was coaching her child.  Other aspects of the video also raised some red flags, probably why it was removed.  I hope the teacher’s lawyers are able to get a copy of the full video.

My son had the teacher in question, who I won’t name because thankfully no one else here has named her yet.  My son is hypersensitive to unkind treatment, and not just of his own person. Many times over the years he has come home from school to report something someone has said or done to someone else that he witnessed and he was upset by. But he had nothing bad to say about this teacher.   I can’t imagine her being that callous towards a child.  If other students in the class verify the sequence of events then I would actually hope the teacher is checked out by a medical professional for dementia or other health issues that could cause such a drastic change in personality because the behavior described would not have been done by this woman.

 So, you're saying we should wait for a full investigation?

What was being said or done in this video?


SammiJ said:

drummerboy said:

Assuming this actually happened, I kind of have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, as a general anti-religionist, I hate the idea of a hajib. It's just a means of female subjugation and I think it's horrible. I cringe when I see them. And that goes double when I see a child wear one.

OTOH hand of course, this is America, religious liberty and all that, and if this incident happened as described, I'd fire the teacher, mostly for being a moron.

 would you feel the same way if a teacher forcibly removed a Cross, Turban or Star of David?  If true, the teacher should be fired and have charges brought against them.  Religious intolerance from a teacher in a public school is unacceptable

 I don't think those other things are actually comparable in their meaning.

And anyway, I said right there that they should be fired. What more do you want from me?


RTrent said:

drummerboy said:

Assuming this actually happened, I kind of have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, as a general anti-religionist, I hate the idea of a hajib. It's just a means of female subjugation and I think it's horrible. I cringe when I see them. And that goes double when I see a child wear one.

OTOH hand of course, this is America, religious liberty and all that, and if this incident happened as described, I'd fire the teacher, mostly for being a moron.

How very Euro/Western-ethnic of you.

Has it ever occurred to you that to Hajib wearers has a completely different meaning? But, we of Western culture always know better so we'll just decide for them.

Its no wonder why so many despise us. It was European colonialism. Now its ethnic imposition. The big white Western father deciding for all.

 oh poop.

The original Islamic meaning of the hijab was to hide the sexuality of women from men, otherwise they might get molested. I.e. it's the woman's fault.

Whether modern people happen to glom on other interpretations is really beside the point. People have the ability to rationalize anything.


jamie said:

Teacher was really dumb to do that.  End of story.  Question will be whether or not this person will be fired.

 How do we know that it happened? I actually do not think its the "end of the story" at all. The alllegation is very serious and needs to be investigated. Right now we have Ibtihaj posting on social media that her friend told her that her daughter told her....And that makes it a fact?


Wait for the full investigation.

If the teacher did it, fire her.  It is inexcusable.    

The end.


For those of you on this forum, in Facebook and across the universe spouting off at this person's guilt based off an unproven accusation, whoa to you should you ever be accused of something, anything. Simply horrible to be weighing in on this human being's guilt or innocence being so sure that you know the truth of it. How in eff's name do you know what happened? One of the many aspects of our society that have gone completely astray. Literally sick to my stomach to see the way people are reacting to this news or tweets or whatever the hell people are reacting to with zero reservation.


jamie said:

Teacher was really dumb to do that.  End of story.  Question will be whether or not this person will be fired.

 How are you so certain this happened? Enlighten us or just go straight to burn the witch phase? 


bigorangesplotmpwd said:

For those of you on this forum, in Facebook and across the universe spouting off at this person's guilt based off an unproven accusation, whoa to you should you ever be accused of something, anything. Simply horrible to be weighing in on this human being's guilt or innocence being so sure that you know the truth of it. How in eff's name do you know what happened? One of the many aspects of our society that have gone completely astray. Literally sick to my stomach to see the way people are reacting to this news or tweets or whatever the hell people are reacting to with zero reservation.

you know, if you read this thread, you'll find that the overall tone is that we need to wait until we actually find out what happened before passing judgement on the teacher.


so this has been investigated and found to be true?  its not possible a smaller incident got blown out of proportion?  no reason to think someone lied, but maybe there is a misunderstanding?  i know adults who hear what they want to hear and don't seem to be lucid....and would come up with a story like this because they just don't listen....they don't intend to be an AH....but they are.........


drummerboy said:

you know, if you read this thread, you'll find that the overall tone is that we need to wait until we actually find out what happened before passing judgement on the teacher.

 You mean like the person here whose only question is when will this teacher be fired?  And yes, I mostly agree this discussion was pretty tame, but what I saw on Facebook was horrific. Mostly just venting about how gross humans can be online. 


bigorangesplotmpwd said:

drummerboy said:

you know, if you read this thread, you'll find that the overall tone is that we need to wait until we actually find out what happened before passing judgement on the teacher.

 You mean like the person here whose only question is when will this teacher be fired?  And yes, I mostly agree this discussion was pretty tame, but what I saw on Facebook was horrific. Mostly just venting about how gross humans can be online. 

 I don't venture on to FB very much, but I did search this issue out.

Yeah, what a cesspool.


cubby said:

jamie said:

Teacher was really dumb to do that.  End of story.  Question will be whether or not this person will be fired.

 How do we know that it happened? I actually do not think its the "end of the story" at all. The alllegation is very serious and needs to be investigated. Right now we have Ibtihaj posting on social media that her friend told her that her daughter told her....And that makes it a fact?

 That’s fair - I should have used “if”  the teacher did it.  


drummerboy said:

bigorangesplotmpwd said:

drummerboy said:

you know, if you read this thread, you'll find that the overall tone is that we need to wait until we actually find out what happened before passing judgement on the teacher.

 You mean like the person here whose only question is when will this teacher be fired?  And yes, I mostly agree this discussion was pretty tame, but what I saw on Facebook was horrific. Mostly just venting about how gross humans can be online. 

 I don't venture on to FB very much, but I did search this issue out.

Yeah, what a cesspool.

I just read the FB post.   Yeah, what a cesspool.   


As it turns out I know the teacher.  I am shocked.   I can't imagine that she would do something like that,  but if she did, she needs to be fired.  Without question.    



The story is now receiving extensive coverage on network news broadcasts.  Local clergy are urging caution and patience during religious services.  The matter has been referred to the MPD for investigation.  We need to wait for the MPD's findings before jumping to conclusions or urging next steps based on what started as a third hand report of something the FB poster assumed had happened based on what she was told by a friend.  


drummerboy said:

 oh poop.

The original Islamic meaning of the hijab was to hide the sexuality of women from men, otherwise they might get molested. I.e. it's the woman's fault.

Whether modern people happen to glom on other interpretations is really beside the point. People have the ability to rationalize anything.

Its not some modern people interpretation. Its deeply embedded cultural. Culture does change over time. What it may have been or we think it may have been hundreds of years ago is irrelevant.

Anyway, an informative story in this and other incidents -

https://www.app.com/story/news/2021/10/09/nj-school-hijab-maplewood-islamophobia-teacher/6050145001/

For Muslims, who view the hijab as an expression of faith, the alleged episode in Maplewood was hurtful and offensive. It also highlighted what community leaders say is a larger problem of bias in the classroom.

I'm surprised the police have been assigned to look into this. 

Companies where leadership is accused of being sexists or racist are investigated by law firms or civil rights agencies. Police are not called who are not well suited for this type of task. Resolving issues  like this using investigators which include experienced civil rights lawyers is usually best practice.



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