Tennessee student's hijab removed
A teacher at a school in Nashville, Tennessee, was suspended Nov.8 after she reportedly posted a video on social media of someone removing a student’s hijab. Getty Images/AFP/MOHAMMED HUWAIS

A teacher at a school in Nashville, Tennessee, was suspended Wednesday after she reportedly posted a video on social media of someone removing a student’s hijab.

The video was recorded inside a classroom at the New Vision Academy Charter School and was posted on Snapchat with the caption "pretty hair," according to NBC affiliate WSMV-TV. It showed an unidentified person pulling the religious headscarf off the girl’s head as she covered her face with her hands.

Another video followed, with the caption "lol all that hair cover up,” which showed the same person playing with the girl’s hair along with other students.

Several news networks posted the videos on their Facebook pages.

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WSMV said the videos were traced back to the unnamed teacher’s account and came to light after it was obtained by the network from a viewer. The viewer said it was upsetting that the girl was seemingly being told her hair was too pretty to be covered under a hijab.

The school began an investigation after principal Tim Malone was made aware of the video. He said the teacher denied making a video and said the act of exposing the girl's hair was not done to disrespect.

The student's mother and sister were outraged after they got to know about the video and said, "This should never happen."

New Vision Academy told WSMV on Wednesday the teacher has been suspended without pay. A statement issued by the principal read:

New Vision Academy is a diverse school. As a school community, we pride ourselves on embracing and celebrating our racial, ethnic, religious and economic diversity. Our students learn, and grow, best when they learn from one another. To foster this environment, all students must feel respected and supported. The actions depicted in the Snapchat video do not reflect the values, culture or climate of New Vision Academy. New Vision Academy will continue to emphasize that all staff members act in a way meant to empower and inspire our students. New Vision will use this video as an opportunity to press forward with increasing cultural sensitivity and awareness among all members of the New Vision community. The staff member in question has been suspended, without pay, and we have had direct discussions with the students depicted in the Snapchat. New Vision Academy apologizes for this unfortunate incident, and will be better in the future.

Meanwhile, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, called for a criminal investigation and the firing of the teacher Friday, the Tennessean reported.

“The video depicts a criminal assault, evidently motivated by the religious identity of the student, which makes this a possible hate crime,” CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney, Gadeir Abbas said.

“We call on local law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident, determine who removed the student’s hijab, and take appropriate action to hold that person accountable,” he added.