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District Approves Plan to Prevent Bullying of Muslim Students in Schools

District Approves Plan to Prevent Bullying of Muslim Students During Difficult Time

According to local reports, San Diego Unified District is making moves to prevent the bullying of Muslim students within its schools.

In a school board meeting last night, members of the community packed the house to ask the board to take measures to protect Muslim students from harassment.

This past school year saw an increase of Muslim students targeted by peer-bullying triggered by a year filled with news of terrorist attacks. Recently, the U.S. had its deadliest mass shooting in Orlando, Fla. by a lone shooter who pledged allegiance to ISIS.

As the country tried to come to terms with the gravity of 49 people killed, Muslim parents and community members had additional stress: would the impact of such terror follow their children to school?

Recent surveys have revealed the fallout has been significant. According to The Washington Post, a recent survey found one-third of Muslim students in grades 8-12 said they "had experienced insults or abuse at least once because of their faith.”

The tough election rhetoric isn’t helping, either. 

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called for a "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” in December and more recently said he would be expanding that plan.

This kind of talk is being referred to as pushing “The Trump Effect” in the country’s schools. Surveys and teachers have indicated that this election season has led to "an increase in bullying, harassment and intimidation of students whose races, religions or nationalities have been the verbal targets of candidates on the campaign trail,” said the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

SPLC found in a survey of its own that two-thirds of 2,000 teachers say that children of immigrants and Muslims have expressed concern "fears about what might happen to them or their families after the election.”

Hence why the issue is so important to parents of students in San Diego Unified.

At the meeting, "Luqmaan Bokhary, a high school student, said many Muslim students go to school in fear, which also affects their academic performance,” according to The Times of San Diego.

”Protect our kids,” read signs that various of the audience members held, according to the article.

The display worked. The school board agreed to "take action and asked the superintendent to come up with a plan to put an end to the bullying of Muslim students,” said Fox 5 San Diego.

The board will then vote on the plan before implementing it.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

7/27/2016

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