A family in Nashville, Tennessee, was outraged when a Snapchat video showing their relative hiding her face while someone removed her hijab was posted to other social media outlets.
In the video, the unidentified student covers her face while someone pulls off the religious head covering and other students play with her hair, reported WSMV.
The incident occurred at New Vision Academy Charter School and it is unknown who removed the student’s hijab. When the video was first posted to Snapchat, it was shared with the caption "pretty hair” and a second video was captioned “lol all that hair cover up."
According to WSMV, the video was shared when a viewer of the news station saw the footage online and became upset that the girl was being told her hair was too pretty to be covered.
Educators of Muslim sensitivity training were disturbed by the actions they saw in the video.
"As a female, and as a mother of three daughters, it should never be OK to rip off an article of clothing off of a female, period," Kasar Abdulla, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for Valor Collegiate Academies, told WSMV.
"I highly encourage those faculty members in that particular school to take a crash course on why the hijab is so important to some of my students and why my students cover up. 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 added.
New Vision principal Dr. Tim Malone told the news station that the unnamed teacher of the class denied making the video and said the removal of the girl’s hijab was not done out of disrespect.
However, when the student’s family spoke out, they expressed outrage at the incident and told WSMV, “This should never happen.”
On Wednesday, New Vision Academy announced the teacher was suspended without pay. Principal Malone also released the following statement:
“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.”
(Photo: WSMV News 4)