Parents Speak out on Teacher's Remarks

February 17, 2007

Author: Eric Paul Zamora

Source: The Fresno Bee

Parents of a sixth-grade student at Riverview Elementary School say their son was treated differently by his classmates and distracted from his schoolwork because of comments his teacher made about Muslims and Iranians.

The parents, Mashalah Boroujerdi and Rezvan Jamshidy, spoke publicly for the first time Friday, elaborating about incidents that have led the Clovis Unified School District to investigate the teacher.

Boroujerdi and his wife, Jamshidy, are Muslims from Iran. Their 10-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter were born in Fresno.

Kamal Abu-Shamsieh, director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, said that the teacher, during a lesson about the ancient Israelites, said Iranians are America's enemy because they want to destroy Israel. He also said that extreme Muslims and Iranians want to take over the United States, kill the teachers and hire their own teachers, Abu-Shamsieh said.

The comments were allegedly made during lessons about ancient cultures, which the state requires sixth-graders to study, said Kelly Avants, the district's director of communications.