FLEMINGTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A U.S. history teacher in Flemington, New Jersey filed a lawsuit against her former school, accusing administrators of not renewing her contract because she is Muslim.

Sireen Hashem claims she was told by Superintendent Christina Steffner that she “caused trouble because she was Pakistani” since she started working at Hunterdon Central Regional High School.

The lawsuit alleges Hashem’s supervisor told her that her contract wasn’t going to be renewed because Steffner and the principal “wanted her gone.”

“They were targeting her because she was Muslim,” attorney Omar Mohammedi told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.

Mohammedi said another teacher showed her class a video of Noble Prize-winning Palestinian activist Malala Yousafzai and invited Hashem to the class because of her knowledge as a Palestinian Muslim.

“And when she wanted to use the same thing and she asked the teacher, the school was not happy with that,” he said.

But Steffner said in a statement to WCBS 880 that the allegations against her aren’t true and the district will fight the suit.

About 60 supporters turned out to a meeting to back Hashem, but the school board decided not to override the recommendation against renewing her contract.

The lawsuit asks for Hashem’s job back as well as other damages.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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