Teacher Fired for Having Kids Send Cards to Cop Killer


Marylin Zuniga at meeting supporting her (Amanda Marzullo | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

The post-Ferguson war on police continues as Fox News this morning reported that a third-grade New Jersey teacher has been fired after she had her students write “get well” letters to convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Marylin Zuniga instructed her Forest Street Elementary School students to write the letters to Abu-Jamal, who has been hospitalized. He is serving a life sentence for the 1981 shooting death of Philadelphia officer Daniel Faulkner.

A school board Wednesday voted to fire Zuniga, who had been suspended with pay since the incident. Abu-Jamal was hospitalized at the time of the card writing. In a statement at the time of her suspension, officials said they had no prior knowledge about the letters, and said Zuniga did not seek prior approval or notify parents about this “unauthorized activity.”  Zuniga is weighing legal action over her termination.

Fox’s Megyn Kelly on April 15 interviewed the wife of slain officer, who died of gunshot wounds to the back and face. Maureen Faulkner told Kelly:

“I think this Marylin, she actually was indoctrinating these young children back in February. She had them write about a quote that Mumia Abu-Jamal wrote…She’s the one who introduced these children and told them about this murderer, which is so wrong.”

Faulkner said she was just about the teacher’s age when she walked into the hospital and saw her “husband’s face blown off.”

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

  —Isaiah 5:20

Read more from NJ.com:

In remarks to the school board, Zuniga said she should be returned to the classroom.

“I stand in front of you today because there’s a community behind me, and because there’s people here of the community, of the Orange community and the surrounding communities, that support me,” Zuniga said. “There’s people around the nation who support me, who believe I need to be reinstated and I believe that I need to be reinstated.

“My students need me in the classroom. My students have requested that I come back to the classroom,” Zuniga added. “They miss me and they’ve been asking for me, and that’s what’s most important. No one is thinking about the students.”

The controversy sparked international attention with Zuniga receiving support from civil rights activists, educators from around the country and others who claimed she was teaching compassion to her students.

But Zuniga also received intense criticism from some school parents and law enforcement officials who expressed outrage over writing “get well” letters to a convicted cop killer.