(COLUMBUS, OH, 9/12/17) -- The Columbus, Ohio, chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Columbus) today announced the release of an Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices. The guide is part of the Muslim civil rights organization’s anti-bullying campaign and is designed to combat bullying and to help create a more welcoming atmosphere for Muslim students in Ohio’s school districts.
A recent survey conducted by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (IPSU) found that 42 percent of Muslim students in grades K-12 have reported bullying because of their faith. Even more alarming was the finding that one-in-four bullying incidents of Muslim students involved a teacher or school official.
CAIR-Columbus hopes that its Educator’s Guide will prevent bullying by teachers, and assist schools with recognizing and responding to anti-Muslim incidents in schools.
“This guide is intended to help teachers, administrators and educational staff understand the needs of their Muslim students and families. We believe that education is the most important part of a young person’s life, and we want to help facilitate healthy and supportive classrooms for all students,” said Jennifer Nimer, CAIR-Columbus executive director.
The Educator’s Guide contains information about some common Islamic religious practices such as types of dress, dietary restrictions, daily prayer times, and major holidays. It also explains some of the legal responsibilities of public schools under both Ohio and federal law, and suggests some common ways that Muslim students and families can be accommodated in the classroom.
“Unfortunately, we frequently receive complaints about bullying and denial of accommodations from Muslim students,” Nimer continued. “We are hopeful that this guide will help educators treat all students fairly and ensure their Muslim students are a full and integrated part of the learning environment.”
In addition to sending guides to schools that request them, CAIR-Columbus will also be preparing and mailing an Educator’s Guide School District package to school districts throughout Central Ohio. Community members who would like to sponsor a School District Package can click here to make a donation toward the project.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. The CAIR-Ohio Affiliate has three chapters - Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.
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