A Houston-area teacher is on leave following accusations she called a Muslim student a terrorist.
The parents of 12-year-old Waleed Abushaaban say their son was watching a movie with his seventh grade class when he started to laugh at a scene. That's when he says the teacher told him: "I wouldn’t be laughing if I was you."
When Waleed asked why, he told his parents the teacher replied: "Because we all think you’re a terrorist."
At a news conference held by the family on Friday, Waleed told reporters that his classmates started taunting him after the teacher's comments.
"They were like ‘oh I see a bomb’ and they started all laughing and making jokes…. I was upset and I felt like I was put in the corner and like everybody was just looking at me,” Waleed said.
While administrators have put the teacher on leave while they investigate the incident, the family said they want her fired.
“Just because my son is a Muslim doesn’t mean he is a terrorist. He’s an American; he’s as American as anybody else. He was born here, that’s all he knows, is how to be an American,” Waleed's dad, Malek Abushaaban, told reporters.
In a statement obtained by InsideEdition.com, the Fort Bend Independent School District say the teacher made the statement but contended she did so while "trying to make a point about negative stereotypes."
"District officials believe that the teacher used poor judgment and failed to exercise the appropriate sensitivity expected of one of its teachers.
"Upon learning of the comment, District officials immediately removed the teacher from the classroom and placed her on administrative leave pending completion of the District’s review of the matter. The District’s administration will address the situation with the teacher in an orderly manner consistent with its policies and procedures."
The statement went on to describe Fort Bend County as the "single most ethnically diverse county in the world."
"The District is proud of its rich cultural diversity and is committed to educating each of its nearly 74,000 students in accordance with its core beliefs and commitments and without regard to any student’s race, national origin, or religious beliefs."