(BALTIMORE, MD, 6/27/19) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed positive developments in the case of a Maryland Muslim student who was reportedly subjected to Islamophobic bullying and harassment in public school over a period of several weeks.
SEE: CAIR Condemns Maryland High School’s Failure to Protect Muslim Teen from Islamophobic Harassment
The teen, who attends Cambridge-South Dorchester High School in Dorchester County, Md., allegedly faced severe bullying including verbal assaults such as ISIS, terrorist, and suicide bomber, and physical harassment that occurred over an extended period of time.
His mother contacted CAIR for assistance after repeated attempts to end the mistreatment and abuse were unsuccessful through school officials, and she began fearing for her son’s wellbeing.
Two weeks ago, CAIR sought a high-priority meeting with school officials, and called on the Dorchester County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Mitchell and Supervisor of Student Services Dr. James Bell to:
1) intervene to appropriately and immediately discipline students perpetrating this abusive behavior so that it does not carry over the summer and into the next school year, and
2) hold accountable and mandate training for school officials who have failed to address the mother’s pleas for adequate intervention and assistance to the extent where she is now fearing for her son’s mental well-being and life after a teacher discovered “potentially suicidal messages” in his notebook.
According to the mother, following CAIR’s involvement, her son’s situation has “improved drastically” and he is finally “resembling his old self.” She now encourages other parents to speak up if their children are impacted by bullying.
She said in a statement to CAIR:
“[Parents] shouldn’t be quiet about bullying. They should raise their voice, defend their children and not make them face it by themselves. CAIR helped make my voice heard, and helped my son keep his head up again and be proud of being Muslim. . .They gave me all the support during the bad moments that I and my son were going through. We’re seeing victory, [God willing] on my son's [situation], and this will impact my son's life forever.”
“CAIR is deeply gratified to learn this good news because this was an especially disheartening case, partly because of the severity and duration of the mistreatment and educators’ failure to intervene successfully,” said CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry. “As we pursue dialogue with the superintendent and school system officials, we encourage parents and guardians to take this mother’s advice -- take the initiative to learn how to effectively self-advocate through education and training -- and to contact CAIR immediately if we can intervene and assist in any way.”
CAIR offers anti-bullying and bystander intervention workshops, as well as a free series of guides to explain relevant Muslim religious practices to employers, educators, healthcare providers, and law enforcement and correctional facility agents.
SEE: Guides to Muslim Religious Practices
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.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry, firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-971-6062