CA Muslim students face twice the amount of bullying, report finds
Mike Szymanski | October 30, 2015
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A survey by a civil rights group shows that Muslim students in California get bullied twice as much as the national average.
The full report from the California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) reflects interviews with more than 600 Muslim students, ages 11 to 18. It found that 55 percent of Muslim students have suffered at least one form of religion-based bullying. That’s twice as high as the national average of students reporting being bullied at school, the report said.
The students were asked about how comfortable they felt at their schools and in portraying their Muslim identity in that environment, as well as about their experiences with bullying and teacher discrimination.
Among girls who wear a hijab, the Islamic headscarf, 29 percent reported being offensively touched by another student, and 27 percent reported being discriminated by their teacher.
The report gives recommendations for laws that Congress can pass, guidelines for teachers and ways parents and schools can help.
“Today, anti-Muslim rhetoric has become so acceptable that parents and students feel that it is a normal part of being a Muslim in America,” said Fatima Dadabhoy, CAIR-LA Senior Civil Rights attorney and the lead author of the report.