Halloween is still a few weeks away, but in New Jersey, the witch trial started early. It began on social media, our latter-day Salem: Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad took to Facebook to inform her followers that evil was afoot in the town of Maplewood.
“Yesterday,” wrote Muhammad, a hijab-wearing Muslim and a figure so revered by our cultural commissars that she was immortalized in a Barbie doll of her own, “Tamar Herman, a teacher at Seth Boyden Elementary in Maplewood, NJ, forcibly removed the hijab of a second-grade student. The young student resisted, by trying to hold onto her hijab, but the teacher pulled the hijab off, exposing her hair to the class. Herman told the student that her hair was beautiful, and she did not have to wear hijab to school anymore.” The child, Muhammad said, had suffered “trauma” and “abuse.”
Only, that likely isn’t at all what had happened: In a statement, Herman gave a perfectly plausible explanation. She had observed the student wearing a hooded sweatshirt, she said, and, in accordance with school policy, asked her to pull down the hood, as it was blocking her eyes. After seeing that the student was wearing the hood “in place of, rather than on top of, her usual hijab,” Herman “immediately rescinded that request.”