From the Civil Rights Desk
Did you know that October is National Bullying Prevention Month? All around the nation, groups are coming together this month to raise awareness on the important issue of bullying in schools. CAIR-Greater Los Angeles Area has been working on the issue of school bullying of American Muslim students throughout the year. Below, we are sharing some of our work around this issue and ways in which you can join the fight against bullying.
What CAIR-LA Is Doing To Address Bullying of American Muslim Students:
- We are currently conducting a survey of American Muslim students between the ages of 11-18 to better understand the issues they face in public schools. The survey is available here.
- CAIR-LA was invited by the California Immigrant Policy Center to train community advocates on how to handle anti-Muslim bullying.
- We provided awareness workshops throughout the year to the Muslim community to train parents and students on how to address bullying at their schools, and educate them about the protections available to them under state and federal laws. You can request a workshop here.
- CAIR-LA was invited by the U.S. Department of Education to attend the National Bullying Prevention Summit in Washington D.C., where we provided attendees with our policy paper entitled Tolerated Bigotry: The Silent Crisis of Anti-Muslim Bullying
What Can Parents Do To Prevent Bullying?
- Build a relationship of trust with your children so they feel comfortable telling you about their problems.
- Look for signs that your child is being bullied: bruises, scrapes, anxiety about attending school, etc.
- Notify the school in writing if your child is being bullied.
- Keep a record of complaints and always follow up.
- Let your child know it is not his or her fault and they have nothing to be ashamed of.
- California has laws against bullying. Keep schools accountable: Report to CAIR-LA at 714-776-1177.
What Can Students Do To Prevent Bullying?
- If you are being bullied, tell the bully to stop and walk away.
- Do not fight back.
- You have the power to stop a bully - if you see someone being bullied, speak out.
- Telling someone is not the same as tattling - report it to a teacher and to your parents.
- Think about the information you post on the internet. It is easy to be a bully on the internet and you may be violating a law if you send someone mean texts, instant messages or posts on social media sites.
- Take CAIR-CA's Muslim Youth at School survey here!
CAIR-LA Civil Rights Attorney