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A New Jersey high school teacher was suspended after allegedly mocking a Muslim student in class and calling him a terrorist, officials and the teen's family said.
Mohammed Zubi, a 17-year-old senior at Ridgefield Memorial High School, last week asked a teacher if he could have some more time to complete an assignment, according to his family.
That's when the instructor allegedly quipped, "We don't negotiate with terrorists," said Selaedin Maksut, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) New Jersey, speaking on behalf of the family.
"It perpetuates the stereotypes against Arabs and Muslims and that, for the past 20 years, this is what organizations like CAIR and others have been trying to combat," Maksut told NBC News on Tuesday.
"You'd like think 20 years later these would be dying down. But here they are, being used by a teacher in a classroom, so it's very alarming to see."
The Ridgefield School District said in a statement that it "has absolutely no tolerance for any sort discrimination against any student or staff member" and strives "to create an inclusive environment where students’ and staff members’ race, religion, national origin and sexual orientation are embraced."
The teacher has been suspended while the district investigates and "intends to pursue any and all legal remedies," it added.
A rep for the New Jersey Education Association, the union which represents public school teachers, could not be immediately reached for comment on Tuesday.