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CAIR-MN: School Harassment Complaints Resolved

CAIR-MN ANNOUNCES RESOLUTION OF SCHOOL HARASSMENT COMPLAINTS

(ST. PAUL, MN, 6/21/2007) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today announced the resolution of a case of alleged anti-Muslim harassment at a middle school in that state.

In May of this year, CAIR-MN called for investigation of a series of reported anti-Muslim incidents at Westwood Middle School in Blaine, Minn. The Islamic civil rights group said it had received complaints about Islamophobic remarks and actions by students and staff at the school.

The reported incidents included a Muslim student who wears an Islamic head scarf being called a “terrorist” and told “go back to your country” and two Muslim students who alleged that they were verbally taunted about their religion and had food thrown at them.

SEE: CAIR-MN: Probe of MN Anti-Muslim School Incidents Sought

SEE ALSO: Rights Group Seeks Harassment Inquiry (Star Tribune)

After completion of an investigation, the school says it will take steps that include improving internal communications so that every alleged bias incident will be reported to the principal for appropriate action, adding information about major world religions to the geography curriculum, and creating a “school climate task force” composed of staff and students to help assess changes that may be needed to make the school a better place for all students and staff. The district is also in the process of hiring a “diversity coordinator.”

In addition, a staff member who made inappropriate references to a Muslim student’s faith will send that student a letter of apology.

“We thank Westwood Middle School officials for their prompt and professional handling of these reported incidents and appreciate the comprehensive nature of the steps taken to promote diversity and mutual respect,” CAIR-MN Vice Chair Thasneem Ahmed.

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.

CONTACT: CAIR-MN Vice-Chair Thasneem Ahmed, Tel: 651-206-6568, E-Mail: thasneemhahmed@hotmail.com ; CAIR-MN Board Chair Lori Saroya, E-Mail: lsaroya@cair.com; CAIR-MN Executive Director Omar Merhi, E-Mail: omerhi@cair.com

 

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