James Bretney doesn’t regret the things he’s said during a Twitter war with a Muslim-American attorney.
“Islam is bad for people. It deforms people's human spirit,” Bretney said.
He’s a ninth grade vocational teacher at Sterling Aviation High School. And over the past few days has tweeted anti-Muslim messages saying, “I hate Islam” and “Embrace Islam and you embrace death,” alongside graphic pictures of dead children, which we have chosen not to show.
He stand by them, saying he doesn’t speak for Houston ISD and that his beliefs don’t affect his classroom performance.
“I respect my students. I love my students, my students are the reason I am in that classroom, but this is not about that. This is not one man expressing his opinion,” Bretney said.
“When it’s coming from a teacher, someone who has influence over you, I just can’t even imagine how that would make you feel.”
Those tweets reached the attention of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
They call Bretney’s words repugnant and are calling for a meeting with HISD officials to discuss their teacher, the concern being that he may be spreading this hate to his high school students while creating a fearful and hostile environment for Muslim students.
“It’s not part of this country to look at people from a certain racial or religious background and just make these assumptions that they’re bad people and to express that message again for students to hear that it’s just — it’s unconscionable.”
HISD has told Fox 26 they are aware of the issue and are currently investigating, but could not comment on personnel matters.
HISD board member Joland Jones says these tweets are entirely unacceptable.
“If you’re racist, if you’re an Islamaphobe, if you’re an anti-Semite, you need to check that at the door of HISD.”