An Orange, NJ school teacher has been suspended after she had her 3rd graders send ‘get well’ letters to Mumia Abu-Jamal. Marilyn Zuniga didn’t have permission from school officials to send the sentiments, and was suspended on Friday.
“The Orange Public Schools was surprised to learn through recent news reports that one of its teachers, Ms. Marilyn Zuniga, a third-grade teacher at Forest Street Elementary School, involved her students in a ‘get well’ letter-writing assignment to convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal,” Orange Superintendent Ronald Lee stated.
“The school’s principal and district administrators vehemently deny that it had any knowledge of the assignment and preliminary inquiries find that no approval was ever sought nor were parents notified about this unauthorized activity,” the statement continued.
Abu-Jamal, who is currently on death row, was admitted to the hospital last week after suffering from issues with diabetes.
Zuniga tweeted from a now deleted account that her goal was to uplift Mumia’s spirits. Since her suspension the account has been deleted. Zuniga had the letters delivered through a friend, Johanna Fernández, a professor in the Departments of History and of Black and Latino Studies at Baruch College in New York City.
Fernandez also is part of an organization called “Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal,” a group that advocates for Abu-Jamal’s innocence in the killing. Fernandez also is one of the coordinators of the “Campaign to Bring Mumia Home.”
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Chris Gardner