Federal Way School Bomb Threat; Muslim Boy Framed
(Action call at the end)
Life has not been easy for under-15-year old Milad who is a nice, normal, intelligent young man studying at Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way; being Muslim has been a problem for him. While he was at Ilahee Middle School, he was harassed by kids, taunted by being called variously, “Usama” and “Mohamed”. In December of 2013, one student set up a couple of explosives in his family’s garage but fortunately nobody was injured and the fellow was expelled from school.
On April 3rd, a fellow student at Todd Beamer HS, sent an e-mail to the school with Milad’s name as sender, threatening to bomb the school. Naturally, the school went into emergency mode, they pulled Milad from his class while everyone else was evacuated and then they interrogated him for over two hours, without ever informing his parents about what was going on. Probably in their excitement that they had caught themselves a “Muzlem” who had made a bomb threat, the Federal Way Police took this crying and panic as admission of the crime and pushed him pretty hard, to try and get a confession out of him. Finally, after over two hours, they decided to call the school where his mother worked and instead of speaking with her, they left a message for her to come and get her son.
There was a school break just after this incident and when the school re-opened, there was no mention of Milad, nobody took the time to seek him out to see how he was doing and to see to it that his name was cleared among the student body who now believe he is a “Muzlem Terrorist”. There was no apology for how he was treated, “These things happen, live with it!” seemed to be the attitude of the school administrators.
School District website states their policy in part:, “District programs shall be free from sexual and malicious or discriminatory harassment“. I suppose they believe harassment by fellow students is acceptable, just not by school programs.
Last week, when we held out anti-Bullying conference in Bellevue, Milad’s father approached us with his story, we were stunned.
They finally did catch the kid who was behind the hoax e-mails and he is expelled, but he still comes to the school and hangs out just outside the school and nobody intervenes to get him away from there, they say he can hang out as long as he is not on school property. Milad’s father wants to get a restraining order against the other kid, but the school will not give copies of the incident report to him so he can take them to a court and get his restraining order.
Milad’s family is greatly concerned for Milad’s well-being, he is not eating well, he is stressed out (so far, he has been a “A” student) and he does not want to go back to school. The family has been spending their own money to get him counselling (they are running short of money now, the father works at two jobs), but in spite of the fact that the school has a staff Psychologist (Dean Hamos firstname.lastname@example.org
253.945.2578), there has been no move to take care of this traumatized boy or to give him psychological help.
It would be too much to expect the Federal Way Police to show any concern for the trauma they inflicted on a kid, he should consider himself lucky he was not shot or beaten to a pulp during the course of the interrogation by the Police.
On Wednesday the 27th of May, I called the school district and was referred to Sally McLean, the Superintendent of the School District. She eventually returned my call and we spoke in a 25-minute circular conversation where it was clear that Ms. McLean was more interested in making sure the school was fully protected against demons of all shapes and sizes and less interested in doing anything to help improve the student’s life. She said she was well aware of the incident and that the school academy had sent the family a letter and she thought it was all taken care of. When I asked her what academy it was, she did not know (Milad is in the Green Academy). When I asked what was done to better the kid’s life in terms of counseling or an apology, she read out the letter the school had sent Milad’s family. It was short, perfunctory letter that outlined how the school is always looking after the children etc.,etc., no apology, not concern or acknowledgement of the trauma Milad must be suffering, no offer of help in terms of mental heath counseling, not even a reference to “the incident”. She said she thought this letter would have been sufficient. Her response to my question was, “Do you believe we should not have taken any action after we got the e-mail?
No, we are all more interested in what the schools did NOT do, after the boy was cleared.
“Two way communication between parents and staff is critical for that success“, says the website for the Green Academy. Must have been ghost-written by a fiction writer.
Ms. McLean said she was in the process of formulating a letter to address the concern articulated in letters she had received from CAIR, another organization and the family attorney and if I would give her my e-mail address, she would send me a copy as soon as it was ready. I asked her how she would like the have been treated if one of her kids had been subjected to such treatment and that, I said, is all she should be doing. At this point, she decided we had spoken long enough and that she would send me a letter when she was ready “in 24-36 hours“. I wondered aloud that if the school had taken care of the boy and taken just 30 minutes to talk to the family, this rising tide of citizen concern might not have occurred…
Right now, there is not a single Muslim family that does not believe the school’s attitude and concern for non-Muslim kids would have been vastly different from the way they have treated Milad and his family. It is disgusting and shameful that the very institutions to which we send our most precious possessions, should take the position that protecting their own institution is more important than the health and safety of a student in their trust. Instead of dealing with the family and the child, the school district has involved their Risk-Management Department with Superintendent McLean as their protector.
The right thing for Todd Beamer High and for the Federal Way School district would have been to approach Milad and his family immediately when they discovered their mistake and then to apologize and help Milad with whatever emotional needs he may have. Instead, the institutions pretended nothing had happened. Then, when the father got so frustrated at the school’s lack of concern that he hired an attorney, the school and the district went into their bunkers. Now they are using the excuse that the family has an attorney, to shut off all contact and communication. Even the “Risk Management Department” appears to be more concerned with avoiding risk to the institution, than they are in avoiding risk to their kids.
This behavior by the Federal Way School District and the Todd Beamer school, is nothing short of negligent to the degree of being despicable.
Why are our schools such cowards and so morally bankrupt that covering their fat behinds is the overriding concern for them?
This is exactly what happened when Mr. Demousis, the teacher at my daughter’s class in Montlake Terrace High School decided to tell his class to watch out for Muslim Sleeper cells…in my daughter’s presence (Mr. Schwab, the principal kept to his cowardly silence). This is exactly the attitude the school and school district at Concrete took when a teacher there equated Islam with Nazism and time after time, this defensive and casual attitude towards injuries caused to Muslim students is the only result seen by schools and school districts. One of the reasons that I can think of, is that nobody in the residents or citizenry, is concerned enough to step forward to lend their voice in support for the aggrieved student or their family. Muslim families are so intimidated by “authority” that they don’t say anything either. In the absence of outrage, the only message schools and school districts receive, is that they are on the right track by avoiding action and protecting themselves.
As far as we are aware, neither Ilahee Middle School, nor Todd Beamer High School nor the Federal Way School District ever implemented an anti harassment training of staff or students. In the latest turn of events, Ms McLean is trying to shut off contacts by the members of the local communities and by organizations on behalf of Milad, by saying they will only talk to the representative of Milad’s fmaily…their attorney. More cowardice at work, paid for by YOUR tax dollars!
What should people do to get the Federal Way School District to see that their responsibility towards children in their trust, is far more important than covering their corporate behinds?
We can call and write to all people in the hierarchy and if those who depend on their positions for votes, do not take action, we should make sure enough negative publicity is generated against them in the next elections that they don’t even get a job as the school pooper scoopers. Tell them how outraged you are and demand ACTION and help for Milad and his family. Then watch to see if they do anything. Share this information with as many friends as you can, especially those who are in this school district. Go to a School District meeting (they generally hold monthly meetings) and demand an apology, an acknowledgment and help for the kid and his family.
Write to your State Senator and State Representatives.
Here is a list of the participants and supporters of the abuse and neglect suffered by Milad and his family, at the hands of the Federal way School District:
CORRECTION: The date of the first bomb threat at Todd Beamer High School is April 2nd, not April 3rd as is reported above. While the date is unimportant, it is important to keep the record as accurate as possible.
What the school district did NOT do during Milad’s stay at Ilahee Middle and then after the bomb threat, are FAR more important and the ONLY items that require corrective action.