A Chesapeake, Va., teacher is facing a charge of assault for allegedly forcing a student to do an “Islamic hand sign,” leaving the young girl “dripping with blood,” according to a report in The Blaze.
While police have confirmed the incident, school district officials have said the case is a “personnel issue” and they are not allowed to divulge many details. And while the teacher identified by the Blaze as the suspect, Tara Harris, is scheduled to appear in court in a few days, her side of the story remains unclear.
The report said the elementary school teacher, who openly campaigns for Barack Obama in the classroom, was trying to teach students an “Islamic hand sign” when she yanked the arm of the student, the 10-year-old daughter of Stephanie Bennett, and the student was injured.
“When [the student] didn’t get [the hand sign] right, [Harris] went over and yanked her hand out of her desk and my daughter’s hand got hung up on the metal wire on her file folder and the skin got caught on it,” said the mother.
“The other children saw my daughter’s hand dripping with blood after the teacher had gotten so mad that she went to twist my daughter’s hand into an Islamic sign.”
The mother told the Blaze she called police as soon as she learned what had happened. She said the school confirmed the teacher was placed on administrative leave. She said later the school told her the teacher was terminated from the system.
Officer Leo Kosinski in Chesapeake told the Blaze Harris was charged with a misdemeanor and released on a summons.
“It’s still a criminal charge. It happened at the school and it involved a student,” he said.
Bennett, whose daughter attends Butts Road Intermediate School in Chesapeake, said this teacher previously has tried to “indoctrinate” students in Islamic thought.
The incident, on Oct. 2, happened this way, she said: “The teacher was going over Islamic hand signs with the children – she stayed on this issue for two days straight during their reading and math class.”
Her daughter, who suffers a “processing disorder,” was unable to meet the teacher’s demands, and the teacher became frustrated and tried to twist the girl’s fingers into the correct position.
The report said the daughter confirmed the teacher “prays to Allah in Arabic” several times a day and has explained how Islam is superior to other religions.
Another parent, Nita Reddit, told the Blaze the story was confirmed by her son.
The Blaze said the school board met Oct. 8, and the minutes reflect a closed session regarding “personnel.”