Oh America, why do you make it so hard to be proud of you?! Honestly, as one of the most powerful countries in the world and the only one that claims its freedom is something all countries should strive for some of our citizens do some pretty horrible things. A middle school in New York is the latest example of how shitty we can be.
East Islip Middle School in Long Island is being sued after forcing a Muslim child to sign a paper “confessing” that he has sworn allegiance to the Islamic State and he wanted to blow up the school. According to Wonkette, seventh-grader Nashwan Uppal — who has severe learning disabilities and has been in special education classes for 7 years — was in the lunchroom when a group of asshole kids started calling him a terrorist and asking him “what he was going to blow up next.” Uppal tried to walk away from his tormentors but the kids (who have totally not bigoted parents, we’re sure) followed him and continued to taunt him. They were so aggressive and unrelenting that Uppal, who didn’t even know what a terrorist was, finally turned to them and said he was one and planned to blow up the school fence. Yes, a fence. WOW! What a terrifying threat, right?
The next day, Principal Mark Bernard and Vice Principal Jason Stanton called Uppal into the office and started terrorizing him just like the kids in their school did. The two administrators asked the child if he was a terrorist who made bombs in his house (because he’s Muslim so of course he must make bombs!). They began yelling at him and when the vice principal left the room the principal continued to berate him. Finally, the principal forced the 12-year-old disabled child to SIGN A CONFESSION stating he was a terrorist. The lawsuit states:
Inasmuch as none of these horrible statements were true, nor did NASHWAN say any of these horrible statements, NASHWAN did not write them. However, since STANTON forced, coerced and ordered him to make a written confession under extreme duress, NASHWAN wrote that he said he was a terrorist and sais he was going to blow up the school fence.
STANTON, now even more enraged that NASHWAN did not heed his demand to write that he was part of ISIS, that he knew how to make bombs, that he had bombs in his house and that he was going to blow up the school, forcibly tore up NASHWAN’s written statement and ordered him to write another confession in conformance with his express directives. NASHWAN, once again being forced to make a written confession under extreme duress, wrote that he said he was a terrorist and that he said he was going to blow up the school fence.
While the administrators pretended to be police detectives for the day, Uppal’s mom, Ubaisha Amar, was forced to sit in the office and not allowed to be with her child. After the school called the police and those cops questioned the child, his mom was finally allowed to speak to him. Of course, then she was yelled at by school officials because of course she was. The two were taken to the police station for questioning and eventually released without being charged with anything — imagine that! No charges for a kid who was bullied by adults into calling himself a terrorist– but now the family is suing for $25 million — rightfully so.
The family says that Uppal’s civil rights were violated and the school “broke state and federal anti-discrimination laws protecting religious freedoms and the rights of disabled people in the way they allowed the child to be treated.” According to the family’s attorney, David Antwork,“They knew Nashwan and their own records described his disability, they knew he had severe language issues, communication issues, vocabulary issues, emotional issues, social issues. Those are not my words, those are their words from seven years in the special education department.”
Hopefully, the family wins every cent of the $25 million. What this school did was horrendous and both the principal and vice principal should never be allowed to work as educators again.
It’s really simple: if you are a bigot or a racist, stay the fuck out of our kids’ schools.