UPDATE December 4, 2014 10:45 a.m.: The HISD Board of Education signed off on Angela Box's resignation Thursday morning in a special meeting. HISD says that Box, whose resignation will take effect immediately, will receive the equivalent of three months' pay.
The Houston office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for HISD to launch an independent investigation into whether a teacher's blatantly anti-Muslim views have bled over into the classroom.
In a letter sent to HISD Superintendent Terry Grier on Tuesday, CAIR questioned the decision by the district to keep Angela Box, a third-grade teacher at Ray Daily Elementary School who referred to Muslims as "goat-fuckers" and "bacon-haters," on staff.
Box came under fire after Quanell X held a press conference in front of Daily Elementary school, calling for her to be fired from her job teaching third-graders after attributing a quote that uses the "N word" to the teacher.
That evidence, if it even exists at all, still hasn't surfaced. But there were still enough xenophobic comments from Box's appearances as a panelist on "Tommy's Garage," a weekly conservative public access show, to spark some outrage.
On several episodes of the show, the third-grade educator, who works at a minority-majority school, can be seen spewing anti-Muslim and racially-charged rhetoric.
The letter to HISD, written by CAIR-Houston Executive Director Mustafaa Carroll states, in part:
"We are writing regarding the hateful, bigoted and profane comments made by Angela Box, an elementary school teacher in the Houston Independent School District, on the public access TV program 'Tommy's Garage.'
While the Houston office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) unequivocally respects the First Amendment right to free speech, we are appalled by Ms. Box' comments.
Please see some sample comments below:
'Every normal human being in the world thinks that goat-f**king Muslims and boy-f**king Muslims are the evil of the world.'
'I am so sick of the bacon-haters coming here and demanding we bend to their culture.' [This referred to a request by Muslims receiving government assistance for food prepared according to Islamic guidelines.]. . .
In addition to her inaccurate and hateful statements regarding Islam and Muslims, we are especially concerned by her statement regarding President Obama:
'I'm just going to say what everyone is thinking: can't Ebola just take one for the team and take out Obama?'
There are Muslim students in the Houston Independent School District and likely in her own school who would be hurt and confused by Ms. Box' anti-Islam statements. Given these facts, we call for an independent outside investigator to interview her students to see if her bigoted views are being expressed in class."
HISD addressed concerns over Box late last week, saying that while they respect the teacher's First Amendment rights, they are aware of the concerns and will be monitoring the situation.
The district released a statement saying, "Our focus at Daily Elementary School continues to be making sure students feel safe and maintaining an instructional environment in which they can learn. We respect the First Amendment and the rights of employees and community members, and will continue to monitor the situation."
Perhaps to underscore the group's fears over flagrant Islamophobia, CAIR's Houston office on Tuesday also released an audio recording of a violent threat the group received shortly after the Box story gained steam. The caller, who left the message on an answering machine at CAIR's Houston office late Monday night, directly references the group's office address and speaks of Muslims being "exterminated from this land."
The caller starts off his voicemail like this: "This is a message for all you fuckhead Muslims." He (or, at least it sounds like a he) then continues his rant, saying "Muhammed is a fuckin' faggot; Jesus is the only way," among other choice comments (totally Christ-like, right?). The caller also makes numerous references to exterminating Muslims, calling them "faggots" who are "gonna be removed from this land."
For obvious reasons, CAIR has asked local and federal law enforcement to investigate the phone threat. CAIR's Houston office says it has also received similar threats on the group's Facebook page.
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