Teacher claims her contract terminated because she's Muslim

Save Story

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

FLEMINGTON, N.J. (AP) — A former U.S. history teacher in New Jersey claims in a lawsuit in federal court her contract wasn't renewed because she's Muslim.

Sireen Hashem, of Franklin Township, claims Superintendent Christina Steffner told her Hashem had "caused trouble because she was Palestinian" since she started working at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in September 2013.

The lawsuit says Hashem's former supervisor, Robert Zywicki, told her she couldn't teach current events in the same manner as "her non-Arab, non-Palestinian and non-Muslim colleagues" after she showed a video of Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yusufazi to her class in October 2013.

According to the suit, Steffner and Hunterdon Central principal Suzanne Cooley accused Hashem of discriminating against Jewish students in September 2014.

The lawsuit alleges Hashem's other supervisor, Rebecca Lucas, told her earlier this year that her contract wasn't going to be renewed because Steffner and Cooley "wanted her gone."

About 60 students and parents attended a meeting in June to back her, but the school board didn't override the recommendation to not renew her contract.

Steffner told the Courier News of Bridgewater (http://mycj.co/1NWupcx ) the allegations against her aren't true and the district will fight the suit.

"I have never made a personnel decision based on any improper purpose," Steffner said. "The statements attributed to me are factually wrong, and may even be defamatory."

Hashem is asking for her job back and to be reimbursed for back pay, benefits and other damages.


Information from: Courier News (Bridgewater, N.J.) , http://www.mycentraljersey.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Most recent U.S. stories

Related topics

The Associated Press


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast