(BALTIMORE, MD, 2/7/19) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed steps implemented by administrators of two Maryland public school systems designed to promote diversity and tolerance.
“These measures are critical steps toward fostering safe and inclusive learning environments for students of all backgrounds,” said CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry, who has been in discussions with officials in both school systems. “CAIR applauds officials in both school systems whose actions demonstrate that - despite pushback and resistance - they are committed to the safety and well-being of all students.”
In a much-anticipated and debated vote this week, Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) approved a measure mandating that starting next year, all ninth-grade students enrolled in the district’s public schools must complete a diversity, inclusion and equity class as a graduation requirement.
SEE: Anne Arundel students must take diversity course before graduation, board says
The decision comes on the heels of a long string of hate and bias-motivated incidents within the school system including a racist petition calling for students to join the “Kool Kids Klan,” an essay calling for the extermination of the black race, a “Kill All Blacks” message scrawled outside a guidance counselor’s door, and nooses discovered in multiple schools.
In a similar effort to quell intolerance within its schools, the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) has announced that it is expanding its capacity to foster a positive school climate partly by internally developing programs and curriculum that promote inclusivity and celebrate diversity.
The school system is in the process of voting on a budget that will allocate more funding towards initiatives specifically designed to prevent and discourage bias-motivated incidents
A fourth Glenelg High School teen charged with spray-painting racial epithets and swastikas on Howard County school property last year has was recommended this week to accept a plea deal where he would serve weekends in prison.
SEE: Fourth Glenelg teen gets weekends in jail in plea deal for hate crime, will appeal case to higher court
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
- END -
CONTACT: CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry, firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-971-6062