Broward Teacher Suspended for Alleged “Rag Head Taliban” Comment

A South Florida high school teacher who allegedly called a student a "rag head Taliban" was given a five-day suspension Tuesday.

Maria Valdes, a teacher at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, won't be paid during her suspension, the Broward School Board said.

The student, 14-year-old Deyab-Houssein Wardani, said he walked into Valdes' French class on Feb. 2 wearing a hoodie after gym class. "Here comes the rag head Taliban," Valdes said, according to Wardani.

"I was a bit shocked and disappointed she called me that. But first off, she was my favorite teacher, and I would never have expected that from her," the teen told NBC 6 earlier this month.

The family is Muslim. After he found out about it a few days later, the boy's father, Youssef Wardani, reported it to the school's principal.

Youssef Wardani stood before the school board Tuesday and let them know he found the punishment unjust and insulting.

"My son is Deyab-Houssein Wardani and he is not a rag head Taliban," Wardani said.

Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said the punishment was fair.

"I believe we have handled this case appropriately and recommended the board approved disciplinary action," Runcie said.

Youssef Wardani repeatedly interrupted Runcie and the board threatened to kick him out of the meeting at one point.

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