Ridgefield educators will learn about The faith of Muslim students at Friday’s training session, which covers topics including religious holidays, misconceptions about Islam and the meaning of commonly used terms.

It is planned that the training will take place online four months after the teacher was charged to tell a high school student who is Muslim and Arab-American, “we are not negotiating with terrorists,” after the student asked for an extension of homework. The incident caused headlines across globe, district investigation and calls for dialogue of Muslim leaders.

“Any time we have the opportunity to bring in a certain group to enlighten us and share a certain culture with us, we enjoy doing it,” said Ridgefield School Principal Leticia Pantaliana. “We strive for diversity.”

Lindsay Daly teaches social studies at high school at Unity Charter School in Moristown and has participated in a pilot training program on a curriculum that includes LGBTQ.  A sticker on Daley’s classroom door promotes equality for all students.  Shown Tuesday, May 18, 2021

About 300 teachers, assistants and administrators will take part in the 90-minute training, which will be offered during a professional development session by the branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in New Jersey, a Muslim advocacy group.

The training was scheduled in talks with district leaders and CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaeddin Maksut following the October 20 incident at Ridgefield Memorial High School.

“We congratulate and congratulate the school district for taking this step and becoming a model district for others in the fight against Islamophobia,” Maksut said.

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