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Council of American Islamic Relations calls for investigation over teen's expulsion from Fort Lauderdale school

Expelled student says he is unfairly paying the price
Expelled student says he is unfairly paying the price 02:47

MIAMI - The Council of American Islamic Relations of Florida is requesting a Department of Education investigation over a teenager expelled from school because of his mother's posts on social media.

"I'm disappointed and I'm sad," said 15-year-old Jad Abughamda speaking at a news conference with his mother, who insists he did nothing wrong. 

"If they said I did something, but it wasn't bad, even that didn't happen because I didn't do anything at all," said Abughamda, a 10th grader who has attended Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale since first grade.

Last month, the school fired his mother, Dr. Maha Almasri, a Palestinian-American woman who had been a Math tutor at Pine Crest, and expelled her son.

The school said in a statement it happened because of a series of posts on her personal Instagram Account that Pine Crest deemed "hateful and incendiary," something she denies.

"I'm sad for my child who was deprived of finishing his high school career," said Almasri stating at a podium, next to her son at CAIR Florida's office.

In a statement, Pine Crest School said that Maha's posts included:

"An image of a soldier pointing a machine gun at an infant inside of an incubator and an image with commentary suggesting that some wanted to roast babies in an oven." Maha Almasri denied the allegations made by the school, "none of my posts were inciting violence, they were merely shedding light on what was happening."

"This is about Jad's expulsion, he did nothing but is suffering consequences, we feel just by association," said Omar Saleh, attorney for C.A.I.R. representing Almasri and her son.

Pine Crest School responded with a statement saying:

"The student handbook and enrollment agreement make clear that if a parent engages in behavior that is "disruptive, intimidating, or overly aggressive" or "interferes... with the school's... safety procedures, responsibilities, or the accomplishment of its educational purpose or program, the school may take the action that it deems necessary to address the situation."

C.A.I.R. members believe the case is setting a dangerous precedent, "Our main concern is suppressing the right of Americans to express what they feel is decent human rights, that's the issue here," said Imam Abdullah Jaber, Executive Director of C.A.I.R. Florida.

As far as the teenager is concerned, he was suspended from Pine Crest days before the weekend of Thanksgiving, he has not been attending classes ever since and the concern now is that college for him is just around the corner.   

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