- The Washington Times - Friday, September 14, 2018

An assignment given to a sixth-grade class on 9/11 that told the sympathetic story of a bullied boy named Osama has outraged parents in northern New Jersey.

Ed O’Rourke told the New Jersey Herald that he and his wife pulled their daughter out of class at Glen Meadow Middle School in Vernon Township this week after her teacher gave a assignment on the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, titled “My Name is Osama,” that gave the fictionalized account of a Muslim boy being picked on because of his name.

“I thought it was a joke at first,” Mr. O’Rourke said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

“It would be like, on a day about the Holocaust, doing a made-up lesson about a boy named Adolf being bullied by Jewish kids and saying we shouldn’t blame all Germans — or don’t pick on the poor kid named Adolf on the Jewish holidays,” he said. “It’s grotesque.”

Mr. O’Rourke said he met with Principal Edwina Piszczek and acting Superintendent Charles McKay on Wednesday, but was unclear whether any action would be taken.

“They couldn’t have been better as far as letting me vent, and agreed that the timing couldn’t have been more horrific,” he told the Herald. “They said they were unaware the teacher was planning to do this and that it fell through the cracks, though when I asked if they were planning any disciplinary action against the teacher, they said they weren’t sure at this point.”

Mr. McKay said in a statement late Wednesday that the situation had been handled with the teacher directly, but he declined to give specifics.

“There were concerns expressed by a parent about an article one of our teachers gave out to a class on Tuesday, September 11th,” he said. “I met with our teacher this morning to relay those concerns and then I met with the father to make sure his point of view was heard. Each meeting was civil and instructive.”

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