(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 6/3/2017) — The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called for an investigation into the alleged use of excessive force by a security officer and resource officer at a high school in that state.
On Thursday June 1, a female Muslim student at Apple Valley High School in Apple Valley, Minn., was reportedly verbally harassed by a male student and called an ”˜f**king terrorist.” The school security guard, who was first on the scene, allegedly used physical force against the Muslim student. The school’s police officer later arrested the Muslim student.
In the process of her arrest, the student’s hijab (religious head covering) was removed. She was taken to the Apple Valley Police Department, questioned and released.
On Friday, school officials met with the family of the student and informed them that she is suspended until the end of the school year.
CAIR-MN reports that it has received complaints from a dozen Muslim students at Apple Valley High School who feel unsafe due to this and other unreported incidents involving the same officer.
“We are concerned about the apparent use of excessive force in this incident and about the suspension of the Muslim student, who appears to have been a victim of bullying,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. “We are also concerned about the growing number of Muslim students who report feeling unsafe because of how this incident was handled by the school officers.”
Hussein added that CAIR-MN has reached out to the school principal and are in talks about the incident.
A study by CAIR’s California office reported that 55 percent of American Muslim students attending California public schools experience some form of bullying based on their religious identity. That is twice as high as the national statistic for students who report being bullied at school.
That study also indicated that 20 percent of Muslim students say they have experienced discrimination by school staff.
CAIR offers a booklet, called “An Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices,” designed to help school officials provide a positive learning environment for Muslim students.
The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report
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.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, fomentar el diÃ¡logo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
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