Teacher suspended after video shows student’s hijab being ripped off

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 4:13 PM

A video posted on social media showed student's hijab being ripped off and her hair being touched by other students (not pictured).
Drew Angerer/Getty Images/Getty Images
A video posted on social media showed student's hijab being ripped off and her hair being touched by other students (not pictured).(Drew Angerer/Getty Images/Getty Images)

A teacher at the New Vision Academy Charter School in Nashville, Tennessee, was suspended Wednesday after a video circulating on social media of someone removing a student’s religious head scarf was traced back to the educator.  

According to WSMV, the footage was reportedly posted from the teacher’s Snapchat account with the caption “pretty hair.”

WSMV obtained the video from a concerned viewer, and a reporter went to New Vision Academy Charter School to speak with school Principal Tim Malone, who said the teacher originally told him “exposing the girl’s hair was not done out of disrespect” but denied posting the video.  

In the video, the student wearing the hijab is shown hiding her face as someone removed the scarf and exposed her hair to the classroom. Multiple students are also seen playing with the girl’s hair as she tries to readjust it. Someone told her “her hair was too pretty to be covered,” the viewer told WSMV.  

A second video, reportedly from the same account, was captioned,“lol all that hair covered up.” 

“This should never happen,” the student’s mother and sister said. 

In a statement Wednesday, Malone wrote that the teacher was suspended without pay. 

“New Vision Academy is a diverse school. As a school community, we pride ourselves on embracing and celebrating our racial, ethnic, religious and economic diversity. Our students learn, and grow, best when they learn from one another. To foster this environment, all students must feel respected and supported. 

“The actions depicted in the Snapchat video do not reflect the values, culture or climate of New Vision Academy. New Vision Academy will continue to emphasize that all staff members act in a way meant to empower and inspire our students. New Vision will use this video as an opportunity to press forward with increasing cultural sensitivity and awareness among all members of the New Vision community. “The staff member in question has been suspended, without pay, and we have had direct discussions with the students depicted in the Snapchat. New Vision Academy apologizes for this unfortunate incident, and will be better in the future. 

Women who wear the Muslim headscarf in America have often faced verbal insults, threats and, sometimes, physical intimidation.  

In April, at a mall in Atlanta, a man ripped the headscarf off a Muslim girl as he yelled “terrorist.”

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a Muslim woman said she was robbed by a man who demanded she take off her hijab, threw her on the floor and then beat her “like an animal.” 

Last year, a Muslim teacher in was told to “hang yourself” with her headscarf.

Kasar Abdulla, the chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at the Valor Collegiate Academies in Nashville, Tennessee, told WSMV that the faculty in the school need to understand why the hijab is important to some students.  Abdulla offers Muslim diversity and sensitivity training to local schools.

“It’s a symbol of who you are, and it’s a symbol of your faith, and it's a symbol of your identity. So, it needs to be accepted and recognized,” Abdulla said. 

Tyler Perry buys car for mother of boy born without kidneys

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 1:59 PM

Two-year-old A.J. Burgess with his parents, Carmellia Burgess and Anthony Dickerson. A.J. was born without kidneys. His father is a perfect match and willing donor, but hospital protocol pushed back the surgery after Dickerson violated probation.
Handoff via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Two-year-old A.J. Burgess with his parents, Carmellia Burgess and Anthony Dickerson. A.J. was born without kidneys. His father is a perfect match and willing donor, but hospital protocol pushed back the surgery after Dickerson violated probation.(Handoff via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

A Georgia mother whose toddler has been waiting for a kidney transplant his whole life was gifted a car on Tuesday -- hours before a kidney donor was found.

>> Read more trending news 

Carmellia Burgess brought her son home from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on Nov. 8, where he’d been since Oct. 29. 

Burgess’s son, AJ, battled a potentially deadly infection, contracted pneumonia, had surgery to implant a new port for his dialysis treatments and received blood transfusions before he was released from the hospital, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

MORE: Toddler heads home from hospital to wait for kidney transplant

But his mother didn’t have a car to get AJ to his hemodialysis appointments three times a week, she wrote on Facebook.

That trouble ended Tuesday, when actor Tyler Perry gifted Burgess with a new car.

The family later learned a deceased donor kidney would be given to AJ this week, attorney Mawuli Davis said.

Woman helps raise more than $300,000 for homeless veteran who gave her his last $20

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 8:32 PM
Updated: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 8:32 PM

Homeless Vet Gives Stranded Woman Last $20, She Thanks Him by Raising Over $70,000

A New Jersey woman has helped raise more than $300,000 for a homeless man who helped her when she was in a time of need. (Editor’s note: The figure was updated Friday, Nov. 24, 2017.)

>> Read more trending news 

Kate McClure was driving on I-95 in Philadelphia recently when her car ran out of gas. According to PhillyVoice.com, McClure got out of her car to walk to a gas station when she was approached by a homeless man, identified only as Johnny. Johnny told McClure to get back in her car and lock the door. He later returned to the vehicle with a can of gas. He had purchased the gas with what little money he had. 

McClure, who was in town to visit a friend, didn’t have anything to give to repay Johnny at the time, so she told him she would return. 

She kept her word.

According to a post online, McClure says she returned to visit Johnny, 34, at his spot by the side of the interstate with clothes, food and money. Each time, Johnny showed gratefulness and generosity.

“One day, I stopped to see him and had a few things in a bag to give him, one of which was a box of cereal bars so he could have something that he could carry around and eat,” McClure wrote. “He was very appreciative as usual and the first thing he said was, ‘Do you want one?’ Another time I dropped off (two) Wawa gift cards and a case of water. The first words that came out of his mouth were, ‘I can’t wait to show the guys’ -- there are (two) others he hangs out with, and they all take care of each other.”

McClure still felt compelled to do more for Johnny, so she created a GoFundMe account, hoping to raise $10,000 to help get Johnny a car, an apartment and some materials and amenities. 

In less than two weeks, McClure raised more than $318,000.

“With the money, I would like to get him first and last month’s rent at an apartment, a reliable vehicle and 4-6 months worth of expenses,” McClure wrote. “He is very interested in finding a job, and I believe that with a place to be able to clean up every night and get a good night’s rest, his life can get back to being normal. (I) truly believe that all Johnny needs is one little break.”

Johnny told PhillyVoice.com that he was once a licensed paramedic and also served in the Marine Corps. He said he moved to Philadelphia last year with plans to start a new job, but when things fell through, he became homeless. 

File photo - Man carrying gas can to car at roadside(Sam Edwards/Getty Images/Caiaimage)

He says now he wants to get a job at the Amazon warehouse in Robbinsville, New Jersey, and hopes to one day become recertified as a paramedic.

“(This) changes my life,” he said.

British police respond to incident at London’s Oxford Circus station

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 12:31 PM
Updated: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 1:03 PM

Police set up a cordon outside Oxford Circus underground station as they respond to an incident in central London on November 24, 2017.
British police said they were responding to an
Police set up a cordon outside Oxford Circus underground station as they respond to an incident in central London on November 24, 2017. British police said they were responding to an "incident" at Oxford Circus in central London on Friday and have evacuated the Underground station, in an area thronged with people on a busy shopping day. (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)(AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images)

British police said they were responding to reports of an incident at the Oxford Circus subway station, one of London’s busiest, Friday evening.

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Native Americans mark Thanksgiving with day of mourning

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 11:43 AM

Juan Gonzalez of Boston rekindles a small fire with“ the smoke symbolizing a ritual for healing and a connection with the
Juan Gonzalez of Boston rekindles a small fire with“ the smoke symbolizing a ritual for healing and a connection with the "creator." He has been attending this day of mourning for 30 years. "We feel the pain of the Wampanoag," said Gonzalez. United American Indians of New England gather for the National Day of Mourning across from Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, MA on Thursday, November 25, 2010. The day signifies the deaths of American Indians at the hands of early settlers and colonists and the independence of American Indians. (Photo by Yoon S. Byun/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)(Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Members of Native American tribes from around New England gathered Thursday in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the town where the Pilgrims settled, for a solemn observance of National Day of Mourning.

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Thursday's gathering served to acknowledge and remember the disease, racism and oppression that European settlers brought.

This year was the 48th year that the United American Indians of New England organized the event on Thanksgiving Day.

Moonanum James, a co-leader of the group, said native people have no reason to celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims in 1620.

"We say, 'no thanks, no giving,'" he said.

Along with prayers and public speeches, participants condemned environmental degradation and government restrictions on immigration. They also planned a "stomp dance" to symbolically stomp out opioid addiction, which has ravaged many native communities.