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U.S. Department of Education Urges School Leaders to Stand Firm Against Anti-Muslim Sentiments in Schools

U.S. Department of Education Urges School Leaders to Stand Firm Against Anti-Muslim Sentiments in Schools

One of Arne Duncan’s last moves before officially resigning as U.S. Education Secretary was to co-sign an open letter to the country’s school leaders, urging them to to be on the look out against acts of discrimination and firm in response to such actions.

A recently released survey revealed that 55 percent of Muslim students between the ages of 11-18 living in California reported being bullied over their Islamic religion this year, said

In order to provide Muslim students with the same educational opportunities as others, the DOE urged school leaders to work together to take a stand.

“[W]e are writing to enlist your help, as educational leaders, to ensure that your schools and institutions of higher education are learning environments in which students are free from discrimination and harassment based on their race, religion, or national origin,” said the letter.

The letter urges school leaders to recognize when acts of discrimination are occurring, and act swiftly in ensuring they will not be tolerated.

...inappropriate conduct in schools can take many forms, from abusive name-calling to defamatory graffiti to physical violence directed at a student because of a student’s actual or perceived race or ancestry, the country the student’s family comes from, or the student’s religion or cultural traditions. If ignored, this kind of conduct can jeopardize students’ ability to learn, undermine their physical and emotional well-being, provoke retaliatory acts, and exacerbate community conflicts.

The letter was also signed by current Acting Education Secretary, John King, Jr.

Together, “[t]he two federal leaders urge “students, staff, and parents to report all incidents of harassment and bullying so that the school can address them before the situation escalates,” said.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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