SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. (CBS Tampa) — Following a report from an elementary school student’s parents, a Seminole County School District teacher is being investigated for using a racial slur as a nickname for one of her students.
According to Click Orlando, Andy Behbood, an 8-year-old student at Crystal Lake Elementary School, was reportedly called “Abu Dobby” and “Abi-Dabi” by his teacher Maureen Dobbins.
“In recess, the other kids started making fun of me about it,” Behbood said of the nickname.
After dealing with the nickname since kindergarten, Behbood finally opened up and told his parents, who were disgusted.
“Right now, thinking of that word, I feel absolutely sickened that my son, at the age of 8, was being racially slurred,” says Andy’s father, Pooya Behbood.
Upon hearing this, both of the student’s parents filed a complaint with the district against the teacher documenting the cultural insensitivity of the nickname.
“The nickname she used is “Abi-Dabi,” which to me is obviously a middle eastern term,” said Michelle Behbood, Andy’s mother.
The insensitivity of the nickname has not gone without investigation, especially with Dobbins being a behavioral resource teacher whose role is to act as a means of support for students who are being bullied.
It is assumed she will need more cultural sensitivity training, although it is unclear what will happen with the teacher because school is out for the summer.
While an investigation is underway, the teacher has reportedly apologized numerous times for her use of the nickname, however Pooya and Michelle Behbood do not believe those apologies are sincere.
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