(SEASIDE, CA, 11/7/07) – On Thursday, November 15, the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA), in conjunction with the Asian Law Caucus (ALC), will hold a community forum addressing tolerance and cultural competency in local schools from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Seaside High School Library.
The community forum will take place in light of an incident that occurred in June of this year when a supervisor in the lunchroom of Seaside High School demanded that 13-year-old Muslim student remove her headscarf, despite her explanation that it was worn for religious reasons.
The student, who was visiting the school to take part in a summer algebra program, says she broke down in tears after the supervisor allegedly shouted “You have to take it off now” in front of more than 100 other students in the lunchroom. Despite the shouted and repeated demands of the school official, she refused to remove her scarf.
The girl’s family will be participating and co-hosting the forum with hopes to initiate a community dialogue to help prevent discrimination and harassment in local schools. The forum will also address issues facing Muslim American students in the context of academic and communal environments.
The program will include a presentation from CAIR-SFBA addressing the impact of prejudice and harassment, particularly highlighting hate crimes and other incidents that have been perpetrated against American Muslims along with a “Know Your Rights” training from the ALC that will address the state and federal laws protecting students from harassment and discrimination.
Both presentations will be followed by a community discussion about racial and discriminatory trends personally experienced by community members along with brainstorming prevention measures of future incidents.
CONTACT: Civil Rights Coordinator Mahrukh Hasan at 408.986.9874, email@example.com; or Angela Chan (415) 848-7719, firstname.lastname@example.org