How a bus ride to Sacramento is making our schools safer
In April this year Malik was contemplating whether to go to Sacramento after hearing about a trip that CAIR San Diego was organizing. What would he accomplish there, and how would him going or not going affect anything, he thought. But since he had a couple of days off from work and his friends were going, he decided to tag along. After 8 hours of sitting in a bus, chit-chatting, joking around with his friends and eating a lot of Doritos, he arrived in Sacramento joining over 600 other Muslims who had similar questions on their minds but had nevertheless taken the trip. Malik visited several offices at the Capitol meeting some people that he had actually voted for.
Malik certainly had an interesting and positive experience. But what he and the other 600 people didn't realize is that they set off in motion a real policy change in California. They advocated for a bill ( AB-2845 School safety: Safe Place to Learn Act) that promotes identifications of strategies and programs to address bullying in schools. CAIR’s 2015 report indicates 55% of Muslim students have experienced some form of bullying in schools. This bill passed through the Assembly Education committee followed by the Assembly Appropriations committee. And it passed through the entire Assembly floor. It's now repeating the process in the Senate where it has already passed through the Senate Education committee. Soon inshallah it will be presented to Gov Brown to sign it into law.
Your investment to fund the Bullying report in 2014 and 2015, along with investing in CAIR personnel to nurture their relationship with elected officials and then showing up at the Capitol makes this possible. We've taken up many fights against unfair laws. It's time to create the right laws to begin with. Your contribution will help us get a dedicated Government relations person on our staff to continue pushing our elected officials to do the right thing. We're in the last third of Ramadan. Please donate generously to finish the job that Malik and others started.
Hani ElTalmus, CAIR San Diego board member.