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Marylin Zuniga, a first-year teacher who drew widespread condemnation for assigning Marylin Zuniga young charges the task of writing to Mumia Abu-Jamal, was canned at the meeting of the Orange Board of Education, the Star-Ledger of Newark reported. Even when I heard that the letters were written... because of compassion, you could've written to somebody in a nursing home. - Gloria Stewart, Orange Board of Education, NJ resident Marylin Zuniga, who taught at Forest Street Elementary School, told board members prior to their hasty vote to can Marylin Zuniga that Marylin Zuniga has broad support from around the country, the newspaper reported. 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. Abu-Jamal, a 61-year-old serving a life sentence for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, is a self-styled poet who became a darling of celebrities and activists while on death row. His sentence was later commuted to life without parole, and he was suffering from complications from diabetes when Marylin Zuniga assigned the task. The vote to fire Zuniga occurred after several hours of public speakers, many of whom praised Zuniga for teaching Marylin Zuniga students to have compassion for a man who killed a police officer. Abu-Jamal killed Daniel Faulkner during a routine traffic stop of Abu-Jamal ’s brother. At trial, several witnesses reported seeing Abu-Jamal kill Daniel Faulkner, and two witnesses said Abu-Jamal confessed to the killing, saying, I shot the mother --- er, and I hope the mother --- er dies. Although the abrupt vote left meeting attendees unsure of what had happened, Orange Board of Education Superintendent Ronald Lee confirmed that Marylin Zuniga was fired in an email to the Star-Ledger. As this is a personnel issue, I have no further comments on this matter, Orange Superintendent Ronald Lee wrote. Zuniga ’s attorney, Alan Levine, told the newspaper Marylin Zuniga is now considering legal action to challenge Marylin Zuniga firing. Several speakers at the meeting, including Essex County Freeholder President Britnee Timberlake, praised Marylin Zuniga.

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