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Third Grade Teacher Suspended for Having Her Students Write ‘get Well Soon’ Cards for Convicted Cop Killer Mumia

By Eowyn @DrEowyn
Cop killer supporter and public educator

Cop killer supporter and public educator

Daily Mail: A teacher in New Jersey who assigned her third-grade class to write ‘get well’ letters to a sick inmate convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer was suspended Friday, the school superintendent said. Orange School Superintendent Ronald Lee said in a statement that school administrators ‘vehemently deny’ any knowledge of Marilyn Zuniga’s assignment. Preliminary inquiries found that Zuniga did not seek approval from administrators nor were parents notified, Lee said.

The letters were delivered to Mumia Abu-Jamal in prison following his hospitalization last month for what his family said was treatment for complications from diabetes. The former Black Panther is serving life behind bars for the 1981 murder of white Philadelphia police Officer Daniel Faulkner. His conviction was upheld through years of appeals, but he has gained international support for his claim that he is the victim of a racist justice system.

racist

A supporter and history professor at Baruch College, Johanna Fernandez, brought him the letters. She posted on her Facebook page that ‘he chuckled as he read excerpts from these touching letters’. Abu-Jamal was released from a hospital in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, on April 1, and returned to the prison, she said.

Convicted cop killer Mumia

Convicted cop killer Mumia

The school district was closed for spring break and the superintendent said a full investigation would begin when classes resume on Monday.

Zuniga will remain suspended without pay until the investigation is completed, the superintendent said.  Additional action could be taken by the school board once the investigation is finished. An email The Associated Press sent Zuniga seeking comment was not immediately returned.

A second batch of students, from the Philadelphia Student Union, also sent Abu-Jama letters. ‘We shared a touching moment with Mumia in an effort to raise his spirits,’ Fernandez reported. ‘Two teachers delivered letters to us that their students had written to Mumia. It had been a long time since we had seen Mumia smile.’

A picture of some of the letters appeared online, however it is unclear what they actually said. However the fact they were written and then presented to Abu-Jamal has infuriated many.

mumia card

Richard Costello, political coordinator for the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, said the letters set a dangerous example. ‘I think it’s both alarming and outrageous that any teacher would use a group of innocent seven-year-olds to promote a twisted agenda glorifying murder, glorifying hatred and glorifying violence,’ Costello told Fox News.

‘He shot (the officer) in the back and then as the officer lay slumped against a wall helpless he leaned over and shot him between the eyes. When he was in the hospital he actually bragged about it.’

Costello said all the teachers involved in the letter writing campaign should be fired. ‘Furthermore all the parents who have children in that school system need to reevaluate that involvement, because these children are now placed in danger by the very people charged with their education,’ Costello said. ‘They are being used as tools in someone’s twisted agenda.’ Costello has previously described Abu-Jamal as ‘the devil’.

Abu-Jamal is thought to have collapsed in prison due to high blood sugar levels.   Attorney Bret Grote with the Pittsburgh-based Abolitionist Law Center said last week that his client was placed in the critical care unit of Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Grote says neither he nor Abu-Jamal’s brother, Keith Cook, had been allowed in to see him. ‘We’re concerned, about as concerned as it gets, about Mumia’s health,’ Grote told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

A Pennsylvania Department of Corrections official also declined to provide details. A spokesman for Pottsville’s Schuylkill Medical Center says he had no information about Abu-Jamal. ‘We never discuss an inmate’s medical condition,’ deputy press secretary Susan Bensinger told the Inquirer.

Mumia’s hospitalization was revealed Monday when a group of his friends arrived to the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy for a visit and were informed by prison staff that he wasn’t there. While Grote and others had permission with the prison to visit Mumia, the hospital had not yet cleared them. Grote said he hoped the matter would be cleared up by Tuesday.

Abu-Jamal is a former Black Panther serving life in prison for the 1981 murder of white Philadelphia police Officer Daniel Faulkner.

Read the rest here.

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