Student punished over 'Isis' photos of Muslim schoolmate

AP News
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Posted: Oct 28, 2015 5:36 PM

WOODBRIDGE, N.J. (AP) — At least one high school student involved in posting photos showing a classmate wearing a Muslim head scarf and with the caption "Isis" has been disciplined, and cellphones have been banned from the school cafeteria.

The unidentified student or students responsible were disciplined because of a June post that was hateful, biased and racist, Woodbridge Township School District Superintendent Robert Zega said Wednesday. Police can't say for certain who posted the Snapchat photos of former Colonia High School student Saira Ali, said Zega, who wouldn't go into detail about the punishments or the number of students punished, citing district policy.

Zega said the photos with caption saying "Isis," one of the names for the terrorist Islamic State group, made him sick.

"It's a hateful, biased, racist cowardly act," Zega said. "It's something that we absolutely don't tolerate. It's something that we go to great lengths to try to prevent our young people from doing this. Unfortunately some young people sometimes make bad decisions."

Ali on Tuesday posted on Facebook a letter from the district saying a four-month investigation found no evidence supporting a claim of harassment, intimiation or bullying. Zega said that letter was wrong and another was sent on Tuesday correcting it.

Ali told NJ.com that she and her parents were dissatisfied with the district's reaction and would like to see corrective action taken.

Zega said the school district has many programs to combat harassment and teach tolerance and teach how bullying is "so damaging and so painful."