Philly Students Send Get-Well Cards to Mumia Abu-Jamal [UPDATED]

Obviously this gesture hasn't gone over well in some circles.

Mumia Abu-Jamal (center) with MOVE's Pam Africa (left) and Mumia supporter Johanna Fernandez (right), via Facebook

Mumia Abu-Jamal (center) with MOVE’s Pam Africa (left) and Mumia supporter Johanna Fernandez (right), via Facebook

UPDATE 4/10/2015 1:15 p.m.: Marylin Zuniga, the New Jersey teacher who had her third grade students send get-well cards to Mumia Abu-Jamal, has been suspended.


In case you haven’t heard, convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal hasn’t been feeling very well of late, even winding up in the intensive care unit at the end of March. Naturally, some people couldn’t be happier about Abu-Jamal’s physical decline, especially considering that he’s no longer sentenced to die, while others, like New Jersey schoolteacher Marylin Zuniga and Philadelphia Student Union head Hiram Rivera, worry about the frailty of their freedom fighter.

Zuniga, a recent Columbia University graduate who spends her off-duty hours doing yoga and DJing, according to her school bio, teaches third grade at the Forest Street School in Orange, New Jersey.

And she apparently thought it would be a good idea to have her third grade students make get well-cards for Abu-Jamal, who, in spite of seemingly endless appeals and pleas from Ed Asner, stands convicted of killing Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.

Last Sunday, Zuniga took to Twitter and announced that she had just delivered the cards to Johanna Fernandez, a professor at New York City’s Baruch College and longtime Abu-Jamal pal:

And on Monday, Fernandez went on Facebook to let everyone know that she had delivered the cards from Zuniga’s students, as well as cards from high school students in Philadelphia who are part of the Philadelphia Student Union.

“We shared a touching moment with Mumia in an effort to raise his spirits,” wrote Fernandez. “Two teachers delivered letters to us that their students had written to Mumia. One batch came from a 3rd grade class taught by Ms. Marylin Zuniga in Orange, New Jersey. The other batch was from a group of high school students in the Philadelphia Student Union, which fights for school reform and is led by Mr. Hiram Rivera.”

A very sweet and touching gesture, if you think that Abu-Jamal was wrongfully convicted of killing Faulkner. And an enraging one if not.

Cue Rich Costello from the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police.

“I think it’s both alarming and outrageous that any teacher would use a group of innocent seven-year-olds to promote a twisted agenda glorifying murder, glorifying hatred and glorifying violence,” Costello told Fox News. “He shot [Faulkner] in the back and then as the officer lay slumped against a wall helpless, he leaned over and shot him between the eyes.”

As far as Costello is concerned, Zuniga shouldn’t be teaching at all.

“All the parents who have children in that school system need to reevaluate that involvement,” he said. “Because these children are now placed in danger… They are being used as tools in someone’s twisted agenda.”

Zuniga, who could not be reached for comment, appears to have deleted her Twitter account. Fernandez, Rivera and the school’s principal did not immediately respond to requests for comment.