TheBlaze--An elementary school teacher in Chesapeake, Va. has been charged with simple assault after a parent claimed her daughter’s hand was cut open as a result of the teacher yanking her arm aggressively while trying to teach students an “Islamic hand sign.”
Officer Leo Kosinski, a spokesman for the Chesapeake Police Department, told TheBlaze that Tara Harris was criminally charged with a misdemeanor on Oct. 11 and released on a summons. The case is currently under investigation.
“It’s still a criminal charge. It happened at the school and it involved a student,” Kosinski said. The police department could not release any additional information.
Stephanie Bennett, the mother of the 10-year-old girl who was allegedly assaulted at Butts Road Intermediate School, told TheBlaze in an emotional phone interview that Harris has a disturbing trend of “indoctrinating” students with Islamic teachings. She also said the teacher openly campaigns for President Barack Obama in the classroom.
The incident of alleged assault occurred on October 2, according to Bennett.
“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,” she said.
Bennett’s daughter suffers from a processing disorder, making it difficult for her to quickly grasp things like hand signs. “Not that she’s uneducated or anything. It’s just a processing problem,” the mother said.
When Bennett’s daughter was unable to do the Islamic hand sign correctly after two days of instruction, Harris became frustrated and attempted to twist the girl’s fingers to make the Islamic gesture meaning “power and strength.” The way Bennett described it, it sounds like an upside A-OK hand gesture. It is unclear exactly which “Islamic hand sign” was being promoted as the source information comes from children.
“When she didn’t get it 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,” the mother explained, her voice cracking with emotion. “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.”
After her child came home with the cut on her hand and she learned what had happened, Bennett immediately filed a police report. She claims to have pictures of her daughter’s injuries. She has agreed to share the pictures with TheBlaze, however, they were unable to be sent digitally late Wednesday night.
She says the day after the incident school officials informed her that Harris had been placed on administrative leave. On Tuesday, she was then informed that the teacher had been terminated from the Chesapeake Public School system all together. Her termination can not be independently confirmed as the messages left with multiple officials with the school system have not been returned. Attempts to contact Harris were also unsuccessful.
The mother said her daughter told her that Harris “prays to Allah in Arabic” around five times a day in front of students and teaches them about Islam and how it is superior to other religions. Bennett claims other parents have confirmed her suspicions after talking with their kids. (Continue Reading.)
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Virginia Public School Teacher Tara Harris Charged with Assault after Forcing Child to Make Islamic Hand Sign
Whatever else happens, let's make sure we don't lose sight of the real problem: Islamophobia. After all, wouldn't it be racist, intolerant, and bigoted of us not to allow Muslim public school teachers to cut children while forcing them to make Islamic hand signs?