A New Jersey assistant teacher has been suspended for allegedly telling an Arab American high school student “we don’t negotiate with terrorists” when he asked for more time to complete an assignment.
Mohammed Zubi, 17, claims the incident happened at Ridgefield Memorial High School when he raised his hand during his math class to ask for additional time.
The senior student, who is Muslim, said the unnamed teaching assistant immediately hit back with the terrorist remark.
“I’m looking around, at a loss for words, completely shocked,” Zubi said, adding the remark was loud enough for the entire class to hear.
Zubi said he turned to the girl sitting behind him to confirm he’d heard the assistant teacher correctly.
The staffer then approached him a few minutes later saying he hadn’t meant it like that, according to Zubi.
“In my head I’m just like, what other way could he have meant that?” Zubi said.
The student, who only returned to school in the wake of the alleged incident, is demanding a public apology.