MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A high school student from Weston says his teacher called him a derogatory term in class. Now he and his father want the teacher punished.
Deyab-Houssein Wardani, 14, says he walked into French class at Cypress Bay High School last month wearing a hoodie.
“She said, ‘Oh no the rag-head Taliban is here,'” he said.
Deyab-Houssein says the comment came, not from another student, but from his teacher and it didn’t stop there.
“She started saying it more frequently as if it was my name, and for around next two or three days she was just calling me ‘Taliban’ or ‘rag-head Taliban’ on and off,” Deyab-Housseini told CBS4’s Maggie Newland.
Youssef Wardani, Deyab-Houssein’s father added, “He’s a 14 year old boy. He should not have to worry about these kind of actions from a teacher in a class in a school and in a state that advertises diversity.”
Deyab-Houssein’s father says he never expected to hear this word directed at his son. He set up a Facebook page to raise awareness about what happened.
Youssef Wardani says meetings with the teacher and the principal did not ease his concerns and he wants to see the teacher punished.
“She either gets fired or suspended for one year without pay and we get a public apology,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Broward County Public Schools said termination is not on the table. Instead the superintendent has recommended a five day suspension for the teacher who has been with the district since 2004 and has no prior disciplinary history in her file.
“Five days suspension, that’s not acceptable,” said Youssef Wardani, who plans to address the school board Tuesday.
Meanwhile Deyab-Houssein still goes to French class although he says it’s awkward now. He says what happened won’t define him as a person.
“It’s not your background, it’s the actions you do and what you do in your life that’s what makes you who you are,” he said.
Broward County Public Schools issued a statement that reads:
“Broward County Public Schools respects and values the diversity of our students, families and communities. This situation is being taken seriously; the District launched an immediate investigation into the matter and will be bringing forward, to the School Board in March, a recommendation for disciplinary action regarding this situation.”