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Discussion: Seth Boyden teacher accused of removing student's hijab during class

Could this situation have been handled as follows?

1.  2nd grader tells parent what happen at school.

2.  Parent contacts principal and asks for a meeting to discuss what happens.

3.  With a mediator, parent and teacher and principal discuss this issue and how to prevent this from happening again.

4.  If parent is still unhappy, then they can hire a lawyer.

However, now that this has been tried in the court of daily outrage, there are no good outcomes and the entire community suffers.

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Discussion: Seth Boyden teacher accused of removing student's hijab during class

As someone with a degree in journalism who has conducted interviews with folks of all ages for more than three decades, I can tell you with absolute certainty that second graders are virtually un-interviewable. Forget it. Even if the police are in street clothes and parents are present. There is going to be little if any useful information to be gleaned from these classmates. I have been assuming the police are focusing on the allegedly/presumably terroristic threats made to the teacher. (I do not have/use FB, and this is among the many times I am extremely happy about that.)

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Discussion: Seth Boyden teacher accused of removing student's hijab during class

steel said:

sbenois said:

I don't think that the MPD can simply look at what happened in the classroom.   

 Agreed. I guess I'm just thinking that after speaking to the other students perhaps a pretty clear conclusion could be reached as to the essential elements. Perhaps that conclusion has even already occurred but cannot yet be communicated to the public. Considering the threats of violence, I imagine that the authorities are not going to say anything more until they have gathered as much information as possible.

 I would think that the MPD's investigation includes fact finding regarding whether there was a coordinated effort to target this teacher because of her religion.  

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Discussion: Seth Boyden teacher accused of removing student's hijab during class

kenboy said:

With each passing day of no charges, the truth becomes more and more obvious. And the copy & paste from social media isn't helping the accuser's side. Ironically, if anyone gets a payday from all this, it's going to be the falsely accused teacher -- the allegations make zero sense. 

I would guess the teacher is feeling pretty shattered right now and if retiring or leaving the district is an option, she will.

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Discussion: Seth Boyden teacher accused of removing student's hijab during class

cramer said:

sprout - What the child said was posted as gospel on Muhammads's Instagram and Facebook page. A teacher's career and life have been ruined - they will never be the same, regardless of the outcome. You may well be right, but it doesn't help Ms. Herman get her life back. She has asked Muhammad to remove her post and clarify what happened, but Muhammad hasn't done so. 

Understood. There are some things that can be repaired, and others that cannot be easily undone. But we have to go from here, not from a time last week when the mom could have clarified with the school/teacher what actually happened before this was posted.

Addressing the issue going forward, including clarifying the post, is likely to work better if everyone is able to understand the other's misinterpretations rather than accuse each other of ill intent. My hypothesis is that human mistakes were made by the teacher (interpreting a loose hijab and blouse to be a hoodie) and by the student (interpreting the teacher saying the hood of a hoodie was not allowed to be worn in school, as meaning her hijab was not allowed, since that's what she was wearing).

I don't think ascribing negative intent/beliefs to the teacher's mistake is accurate, and I also don't think ascribing the negative intent to the family ("the child was lying and the mom was trying to profit off of that lie") is accurate either. 

If either of those beliefs of negative intent are maintained, the result seems more likely to be lawsuits than restorative practices.

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Discussion: The Final Frontier

Twitter is worried that the rest of the crew is wearing red shirts.

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Discussion: The Final Frontier

As tired as I am with the billionaire space race - I am glad that Captain Kirk made the ride.

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Discussion: Seth Boyden teacher accused of removing student's hijab during class

Herman’s full statement, received by The Village Green:

This is a message to my community, Maplewood and South Orange. The community that I grew up in and chose to teach in.

I am a second grade teacher.

I have been helping kids for over 30 years.

I help kids tie their shoes. I help kids put on their jackets. I help kids put on their band-aids. I help kids learn every day.

Often, I am standing near my students to give them instruction or to review their work. Last week, I asked one of my students to raise the hood of her sweatshirt because it was covering her eyes. With her mask on too, her whole face was covered. I gently got her attention by brushing up the front of her hood. The moment I realized she was not wearing her usual hijab underneath, she kept the hood on. And the learning went on. That is what happened.

My students have missed in-person learning for half their kindergarten and most of their first grade. I love teaching my kids. I love watching them grow and blossom. I love Seth Boyden. I always have. Seth Boyden is a special school with teachers, staff, kids, and parents who go the extra mile. I miss you Seth Boyden.

I believe in Maplewood and South Orange. Our kids need us now more than ever. Let us be there for OUR kids. Let us cultivate a climate of acceptance, tolerance, compassion, and respect for all. Diversity is our strength. It should not divide us.

I always tell my students to try their best every day. And I do the same.

I try my best every day! And I always have and I always will.

To my second grade students and to the Seth Boyden community:

I pray we can move forward as one community. Let us find a place where all of us can be our best selves and make a better kinder world. I miss you so much!

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Discussion: Closings

I shall be curious to see how they have changed the contractor check-out area. I hope have designed it with better consideration for all the money-dropping crews who daily each spend hundreds of dollars at a clip and who are trying to get out of there to get back to a job site while only two and often only ONE person was there to check them out. Often there were ridiculous wait-time lines for crews who were on the clock with deadline pressure.

Impossible to do self-check-out with loads of 2x4s, drywall etc. 

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Discussion: Seth Boyden teacher accused of removing student's hijab during class

composerjohn said:


"In March 1993, after five years in prison, Michaels' appeal was successful and she was released. The New Jersey Supreme Court overturned the lower court's decision and declared "the interviews of the children were highly improper and utilized coercive and unduly suggestive methods."

I had no idea this happened!! 

 As testimony was summarized in the news, I couldn't believe she would be convicted. These wee pre-school kids. She was accused of undressing, then sodomizing numerous kids, then getting them dressed again. This was supposedly on numerous occasions. Oh, and this was while parents could have walked into the school at any time during the day. No parent or other adult ever came across these events.

Did you ever try to undress or dress a 3 year old? And that was the least outlandish testimony against Ms. Michaels. It became absurd when children' descriptions of the abuse were video played to the jury.

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