- Schools MUST prohibit bullying based on religion, race and nationality.
- Schools MUST make their bullying policy public.
- Schools MUST have a process in place for investigating complaints of bullying. If you tell a teacher or another adult at school that you are getting bullied, they have to do something to help you.
o You have the right to wear your hijab or kufi at public school, even if there is a dress code or uniform requirement.
o If you do not wish to participate in school activities that would require you to remove your hijab, such as swimming, your school must provide an alternative activity for you.
HOLIDAYS AND PRAYER
o Schools cannot penalize students for missing school on religious holidays. You can request the day off in advance for Eid holidays.
o You are allowed to pray individually or as a group during the school day. CAIR advises you to choose a time to pray that does not coincide with school activities or class time.
o A school isn’t required to provide a designated prayer room but can indicate what areas are available to students for prayer.
o You may be permitted to leave school for Juma’ah (Friday prayer). You must coordinate with school officials if you wish to do this.
Bullying is repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another person, physically or emotionally. Bullying can take place in person, through notes left on desks or lockers, text messages, or online via email or social media. It can range from verbal insults to physical violence, and usually occurs over an extended period of time.
WORKING WITH TEACHERS:
- Some Muslim students have reported that teachers treat them differently based on their faith or country of origin.
- If a teacher makes a false statement about Islam, respectfully raise the issue during or after class.
- If any of the following situations occur, report it to your parents and the principal:
- If a teacher prohibits or punishes you for wearing your hijab or kufi.
- If a teacher makes fun of your name, country of origin, or religion, even in a joking way.
- If a teacher suggests that you should convert to a different religion.
WHAT CAN CAIR DO TO HELP?
o Advise you on how to address your situation.
o Accompany you to meetings with administrators or can contact them on your behalf.
o Help you file a complaint if school administrators aren’t taking effective action to stop the bullying.
o Help connect you to resources about your faith which you can share with administrators and teachers.
o Help connect you to counseling services to help deal with the stress of bullying
o Even if you do not wish for CAIR to take action in your situation, it is still important to report what is happening, especially if your situation is like something described above. The more CAIR knows about what Muslim youth at school face, the better equipped the community can be to solve problems.
Download and distribute the KnowYourRights-Kids pamphlet to your school administrators and teachers.