A Muslim Teacher In Georgia Is Using The Islamophobic Note She Received To Promote Empathy

She's not backing down.

After the conclusion of the 2016 election, many Muslim Americans reported an increase in hate crimes directed at their community. While some people have been apprehensive to speak out against it, one Muslim teacher in Georgia is not backing down from an Islamophobic threat that she received.

Mairah Teli, a 24-year-old language arts teacher at Dacula High School, received an anonymous note after class two weeks ago.

"Your head scarf isn't allowed anymore," the note read. "Why don't you tie it around your neck and hang yourself with it off your neck instead of your head."

The note was signed "America."

Teli, who normally wears a hijab, believes that the note is a reaction to the results of the election.

"I feel children feel safe making comments that are racist or sexist because of him," Teli told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


A spokeswoman for Gwinnett County Public Schools told The Huffington Post that the school is currently investigating what happened and that Teli is receiving support from the Dacula school community. Bryan Ling, Dacula's principal, posted an online message in support of his colleague.

"We want you to know that we take any threat against a teacher seriously and are doing all we can to find the student involved and hold them accountable," Long wrote. "As we do in Dacula, we will use a difficult situation to bring us together rather than pulling us apart! Let's rally around Ms. Teli and show her that this note is not America or Dacula."

Teli posted a photo of the note to Facebook on November 11, and she included a special message.

"I want to share this to raise awareness about the reality and climate of our community," Teli wrote on Facebook. "Spreading hate isn't going to 'make America great again.'"

As of November 25, her post has received over 4,300 likes.

Teli was overwhelmed by the public outcry and support that she received after telling her story. On November 14, she posted another Facebook message to thank everyone, especially the students and the staff at Dacula High School. She also had a special message to the anonymous person who wrote the note.

"To the person who wrote the note, if you are reading this, I want to begin by saying that I am not angry," Teli wrote. "I hope that you have been following along this conversation that has been taking place and that you see the amount of people from around the world who have sent so many kind messages full of support and love. The world is a better place when we all do our part to understand, empathize, and care for one another."

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