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CAIR Seeks Probe of NC Teacher’s Alleged Assault on Muslim Kindergarten Student

CAIR logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/23/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for an “immediate and thorough investigation†of an alleged assault on a Muslim kindergarten student at David Cox Road Elementary School in Charlotte, N.C., by one of that school’s teachers.

In a letter to the school board, CAIR Civil Rights Staff Attorney Maha Sayed wrote in part:

“During the first two months of the school year, [the Muslim student] was subjected to relentless bullying and harassment not only by his classmates, but by [the teacher]. For example, she would routinely single out [the student] from his classmates and require him to carry a heavy backpack throughout the day. The backpack contained a large textbook and headphones, which caused [the student] to develop significant back pain. . .[The teacher] would also treat [the student] harshly and reportedly called him ‘bad Muslim boy’ on multiple occasions. . .

“On November 16, 2016, [the teacher] reportedly approached [the student]. . .grabbed him by the neck and began choking him. [Another teacher] then separated the two and began consoling [the student] who was crying and extremely shaken.â€

CAIR noted that Title IV[1] and VI[2] of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment both create a legal duty to provide a safe, nondiscriminatory learning environment for all students.

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization requested a comprehensive investigation of the incidents outlined in its letter, disciplinary actions against all individuals found culpable of misconduct, transfer of the Muslim student to a safe kindergarten classroom free from discrimination and retaliatory actions, and cultural and religious diversity training for all David Cox Road Elementary faculty and 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, and “Know Your Rights as a Muslim Youth at School,†information in a CAIR pocket guide advising youth on their rights when responding to bullying and when requesting religious accommodations.

SEE: An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices 

Know Your Rights and Responsibilities as an American Muslim

Muslim community members who believe their rights have been violated are being asked to contact local police and CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at:

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 misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR Civil Rights Staff Attorney Maha Sayed, 202-640-4935,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

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