Lawsuit accuses Brooklyn school of holding boy back because he’s Muslim

A public Brooklyn school refused to promote a Muslim boy to the sixth grade because of his religion, says an incendiary lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court.

Abedin Kajoshaj, 11, had the marks to move on to the sixth grade at PS 180, the SEEALL Academy in Borough Park, but was inexplicably held back at the end of the 2009-2010 year, the suit claims. “I don’t know why they kept me back. I was one of the smarter kids in my class,” Abedin said. He pulled down a 3.04, or “B”, average, said his family’s lawyers, Steven Storch and Thomas Monohan.

During the school year, Abedin earned a 3 in reading and scored a 2 on the year-end reading exam, which “merits promotion”, Monohan said. But in September 2009, Abedin was ordered to repeat fifth grade. The demotion was part of a pattern of discrimination against the boy and rooted in his faith, the suit says.

Abedin’s dad, Halil Kajoshaj, 54, is now shelling out $5,000 to send his son to Al-Noor School in Sunset Park. Last year, Abedin passed a sixth-grade proficiency test.

New York Post, 16 October 2011