A New Jersey high school teacher has been suspended after allegedly telling a Muslim student “we don’t negotiate with terrorists.” 

The teacher is said to have made the comments after 17-year-old senior Mohammed Zubi asked for more time on an assignment at Ridgefield Memorial High School last Wednesday. “So I look around in shock and there’s people laughing and there’s other people in shock, and I turn around and ask my friend ‘did he really just say that?’” Zubi told local news outlet ABC7NY.

In a statement, the Ridgefield School District said it “has absolutely no tolerance for any sort discrimination against any student or staff member,” and that the school aims to create “an inclusive environment” where everyone’s “race, religion, national origin, and sexual orientation are embraced.” They added that the teacher in question has been suspended pending “legal remedies” while the district investigates.

Zubi, meanwhile, has not returned to school and doesn’t plan to any time soon. “I don’t feel like going back I’m really uncomfortable,” he said. “I don’t wanna see anyone, and I’ve been in my room all day. I don’t wanna see my friends especially after what that teacher said to me.”

Speaking on behalf of the family to NBC News,  Selaedin Maksut, who is the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) New Jersey, told the outlet that what the teacher said was “alarming.” 

“It perpetuates the stereotypes against Arabs and Muslims and that, for the past 20 years, this is what organizations like CAIR and others have been trying to combat,” Maksut said. “You’d like think 20 years later these would be dying down. But here they are, being used by a teacher in a classroom.”

Zubi’s older brother also told ABC7NY that what the teacher said disturbed him. “To see my little brother, a minority, 17 years old, to hear a comment like that, it broke my heart.”

You can watch the full interview with the student above.