Feb. 8, 2018
Good News and Bad
GOOD NEWS! In a wild turn of events, the day before we were due to file a wrongful termination suit, our attorney found that the school district fired this sister the day after EID AL ADHA (a...Read More
Who Are We?
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. We are representing Amina*, a Muslim American who wears a hijab and had just qualified as a teacher. Amina lost her dream job and was blacklisted from future employment.
Amina was put in a very difficult situation while taking care of multiple special needs students and took an entirely understandable course of action that kept a special needs student from injuring himself. The student was non-verbal (unable to speak) and had Down's Syndrome and during PE, had run away from the class, in an outdoor environment and was heading towards a fence that bordered the school. She was put in the impossible situation of leaving two other special needs students with the PE teacher, while she ran after the student who had run away to keep him from running outside the school yard. Normally, Special Education teachers are, by law, required to be present, in the class, at all times, but Amina felt the concern for the running student was more of a priority than remaining with the other two students, who were in the care of the PE teacher--the better of the options she faced.
The student fell down when she tried to bring him back, and the student had a scratch to the elbow, which Amina reported, immediately, upon the return of the children to their regularly scheduled home room. Amina, herself, banged her knee, in the process of trying to bring the student back, and a normal course of action, the police investigated the incident and Amina was placed on Administrative Leave. The police investigation completely cleared Amina of any wrong-doing, as there were cameras to see what interaction had taken place and provided further proof she was within her statutory right to touch the student in order to help him back to class in the manner she did.
Instead of being hailed as a hero, she lost her job when the student's parents reported they felt "uncomfortable" that their son was being cared for by her. The school deemed the fact that she touched a student an inappropriate action, even though State Law clears teachers to touch students when it is for the purposes of keeping them safe--something very clearly explained in the police report.
Amina feels that she was discriminated against because of her religion. She feels that had she not been Muslim, and easily identifiable as such, she would not have faced a dismissal over the action, but as a weaker member of our society, has been dismissed on a pretext, so that those who left her with the three children, no walkie-talkie and no training on the handling of students with special needs, would not be held responsible for their own actions. Instead, the school principle and staff have terminated her employment in order to avoid loosing their own jobs over the situation--making Amina their scape goat.
Amina and her attorney have collected substantial evidence to challenge the outcome of her situation and will be challenging the dismissal as a wrongful termination.
How much are we raising and what will we do with the money?
Amina needs help with the legal fees, which an attorney has estimated in total to be $15,000.
We are first raising $7,500 dollars and will raise the second half of our total as the case proceeds.
*The name is fictitious for reasons of protecting the privacy of the individual.
Feb. 8, 2018
Good News and Bad
GOOD NEWS! In a wild turn of events, the day before we were due to file a wrongful termination suit, our attorney found that the school district fired this sister the day after EID AL ADHA (a Muslim holiday that she celebrated by taking the day off) but the school tried to cover that fact up. The school suspiciously scratched through the papers and post-dated the letter of dismissal to allege this lady was fired a week after the Muslim holiday. Therefore, this case has turned into a full fledged civil rights case against the Cherry Creek School District.
The BAD NEWS: We have not even reached half of our goal for funding the case. We appreciate all who gave, from the bottom of our hearts, and the sister was crying to see the support; but we lack funds to continue the case, as Crowd Justice, the wonderful organization that has allowed us to raise the funds, can not, by their policy, release the funds until we raise the target, and we have $3K yet to go. Our attorney has been more than patient and has worked for us without a single penny given, knowing we have signed up to pay the fees, ultimately, but he has to have his due fee to continue.
WHAT HAPPENED? To review the circumstances, our Muslim sister was ostensibly fired for putting her hands on a student--even though she was clearly doing her duty to protect him by keeping him from running outside the school boundaries (he was a special needs student with Down's and was known, by school officials, to be a "runner" ) and she was outside with him, at PE, when he ran from class. She was fired in spite of the fact that school officials had initially brought her back from administrative leave and told her she did nothing wrong. A police report exonerated her, as well, saying she was in full statutory right to touch a student for their own safety. The same principal who fired her is now under indictment for protecting a teacher who sexually assaulted a student. The attorney for the school has claimed the school re-opened the investigation (after they closed it and told her she was not any longer being investigated) because they hadn't done a very good job of investigating. Our attorney has called this a flat-out mis-truth, saying they care about "safety" when it comes to Muslim para-professionals, but when it comes to non-Muslims teachers, they protect them at the expense of the student, even suspending the student who reported the teacher. He ended by saying, clearly, she was fired when her absence for Eid became an inconvenience to the district!
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