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School criticized for actor’s Arab headwear in safety drill

HARRISON CITY, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania school district is defending itself after video surfaced of a safety drill that had a teacher posing as a shooter and donning what appeared to be a Middle Eastern headdress.

The video appears to show the actor wearing a kaffiyeh (keh-FEE’-yuh). The Penn-Trafford School District said Wednesday that organizers didn’t intend to portray the shooter as Arab or Muslim at the January training.

The district says that volunteers were provided costumes by a consultant group and that there was no intent to represent any particular culture or religion. The statement pointed out that the person portraying the shooter also wore a long blond wig and a paintball mask.

The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh says “to stereotype the shooter is appalling given the data on active shooters and the recent shootings at the Tree of Life and Christ Church.”

The video was for internal teacher training only, but footage was posted on social media this week.

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