- Tyler Estep The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The note left last week for a Muslim Gwinnett County teacher — one that urged her to hang herself with her headscarf — is not representative of "America or Dacula," the school's principal said.
Dacula High Principal Bryan Long addressed the incident over the weekend in a short post on the school's website, stressing the need for unity.
"We want you to know that we take any threat against a teacher seriously and are doing all we can to find the student involved and hold them accountable," Long wrote. "As we do in Dacula, we will use a difficult situation to bring us together rather than pulling us apart! Let's rally around Ms. Teli and show her that this note is not America or Dacula."
Mairah Teli, a 24-year-old language arts teacher, posted a picture of the note to her personal Facebook page late Friday afternoon. It said her headscarf "isn't allowed anymore" and suggested she "tie it around your neck & hang yourself with it."
She wrote that she wanted to "raise awareness about the reality and climate of our community," and thousands of people liked and shared her post.
Teli, a California native who grew up in Gwinnett, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday that she feels the note is in reaction to Donald Trump's victory in the recent presidential race.
“I feel children feel safe making comments that are racist or sexist because of him," she said.
The note left on Teli's desk comes amid reports from around the country about hate-fueled incidents rising after Trump's election. Locally, a DeKalb County teacher is under investigation after a post-election tirade in class about illegal immigration.
Gwinnett County Schools spokeswoman Sloan Roach said Friday that the district was "doing all it can to identify the person who wrote and left this note." A GCPS spokesman said Monday afternoon that there were no new developments.
On Saturday, Teli wrote on Facebook that her coworkers and the school system had "been amazing in their response to this."
"They have voiced anger and have been tirelessly working to identify who sent this note," she wrote. "I have full confidence that they are taking the appropriate steps to handle this matter."