New York teacher fired 'after ripping off eight-year-old girl's hijab'

'I'm taking it off' teacher told girl, who described incident as 'scary'

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 11 May 2017 13:46 BST
This alleged behaviour is completely unacceptable', Department of Education spokesman says
This alleged behaviour is completely unacceptable', Department of Education spokesman says (Getty iStock)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


A substitute teacher has been fired after allegedly ripping off the hijab of an eight-year-old girl.

Oghenetega Edah, 31, reportedly threatened to take off Safa Alzockary's veil after she misbehaved during class at Bennington School, New York.

She was misbehaving in class and sitting in the teacher's chair without permission, the New York Post reported.

After tapping her on the arm to get her to move and making the threat, he told her: "I'm taking it off."

He then pulled the veil off, bringing it across her face and damaging her right eye, police sources said.

Women laughing at compulsory hijab in Tehran

Doctors at Jacobi Hospital said her cornea was not damaged.

“This alleged behaviour is completely unacceptable,” Michael Aciman, a Department of Education spokesman, said.

“This individual was removed from the school immediately and his employment has been terminated.”

A differing account of the incident by NBC New York reports Safa was sitting in her chair when the teacher pulled off her hijab.

Police are investigating along with the Department of Investigation.

“It was scary,” Safa told the New York Daily News.

Her father, Mohamed Alzockary, said he was shocked by what his daughter said happened.

“I didn’t expect a teacher to do that to a child,” he said.

“She’s OK right now ... but kids, they’re nervous.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in