A South Florida teacher has been fired after a video appeared to show her interrupting Muslim students as they were praying.
According to Local 10, the video was filmed at Franklin Academy, a charter school in Pembroke Pines, Florida and posted to TikTok on Wednesday, December 7.
The video begins with two Muslim students reciting a prayer. Shortly after, a woman interrupts the recitation.
“Hold on, this my office, and y’all doing this magic,” she says in the video, according to NBC Miami. “I believe in Jesus so I’m interrupting the floor, excuse me.”
Then a whistle blows and a person believed to be the teacher steps over the students.
“And why are they in my office?” she says. “Who told them to come in here?”
The video went viral on TikTok and many users criticized the woman’s anti-Muslim behavior. On Thursday, Franklin Academy released a statement in response to the video confirming that the teacher involved had been fired.
“Earlier today, a very troubling TikTok video was shared with our leadership team. The video appears to show a teacher interrupting students during a moment of prayer. Upon receipt of the video, organizational and school leadership began immediately investigating the situation,” the school said in a statement to Local 10.
“Franklin Academy does not tolerate discriminatory behavior,” the statement continued. “As many know, we are an International Baccalaureate (IB) school system, and as part of the IB initiatives to which we are committed, Franklin aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural and racial understanding and respect. We not only look for our student body to develop these traits but for our faculty and staff to exemplify them as well.”
The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida) says it is important for school administrators and employees to have conversations with the Muslim community about accommodations for basic faith practices.
“It is of utmost importance that school administrators and staff know basic faith practices to serve students practicing their faith, in this case, Muslims. We will protect our children. We welcome the prompt response from the school administration,” CAIR-Florida Executive Director Imam Abdullah Jaber said in a press release.
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