In order to provide safe spaces for children to learn, grow, and thrive, schools cannot permit discrimination of students because of their race or religion. Unfortunately, we at Muslim Advocates hear weekly from concerned parents about their children being bullied in school because of their faith. In some instances, even teachers and school administrators are involved in perpetuating hateful stereotypes about Muslims.
Today in response to community concerns, we sent a letter to every state department of education to remind government officials of their legal responsibility to provide students with a safe school environment, free from harassment based on faith.
The letter, in part, states:
“The failure to address harassment and discrimination against Muslim, Arab, and South Asian students in your district leads to potential civil liability under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Additionally, Muslim, Arab, and South Asian students who have been harassed and discriminated against in your schools because of their race, color, national origin, or religion could also bring claims against school administrators in their official capacities under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection and Due Process clauses.”
Now, we need your help. Please follow the instructions above and share the letters below with school officials in your district.
Together we can make schools safer for our children.
For any questions, please contact Madihha Ahussain, staff attorney and lead for the Program to Counter Anti-Muslim Hate at madihha (at) muslimadvocates.org or 415-692-1484.