October Spotlight: National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month
“Terrorist.” “Osama.” “Towel Head.” “Go blow something up.” These hateful words and statements are the source of torment for many youth in our community. Anti-Islamic rhetoric and Muslim bashing has left Fox News and politics and is now in the schoolyard. Some youth are bullied, harassed, tormented and physically assaulted for being Muslim or appearing to be Muslim.
A few months ago, a teen called CAIR-Philadelphia’s office and told staff that she was contemplating suicide due to school bullying. We took several steps to resolve the situation. This is an extreme case, however, many students in our Muslim Youth Leadership Program (MYLP) have admitted to either being bullied or witnessing bullying in school.
In this month of National Bullying Prevention Awareness, let’s increase our efforts to eliminate this crime. CAIR-Philadelphia has taken the lead in addressing school bullying by providing Community Empowerment workshops and Direct Legal Advocacy.
Outreach and Communications Director Rugiatu Conteh has conducted nearly a dozen anti-bullying workshops for students and parents in mosques and community centers all over the Delaware Valley. Rugiatu taught students how to identify and report school bullying while detailing to parents the best ways to advocate for their child. After attending a workshop, many youth have said that they now have the confidence to file a report.
CAIR-Philadelphia has brought school bullying to the forefront of the legal community. Civil Rights Director and Staff Attorney Amara Chaudhry conducts in-depth presentations covering the legal processes to effectively address bullying at law firms. Amara advocates for subjects of bullying in court and before government agencies.
Staff is also conducting anti-bullying trainings, both legal and non-legal, to lawyers and law firms state-wide including CAIR chapters nationally.
WE CAN ALL WORK TOGETHER TO:
- Bring national attention to school bullying, an issue that affects ALL communities
- Educate on how and why Muslim youth are bullied
- Proactively seek to advocate for anti-bullying programs in the community and in schools
- Pull together resources to create programs and educational materials
To get more involved in combating school bullying
An anti-bullying workshop in your community
Generously in order for us to continue our work on this issue
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CAIR-PHILADELPHIA’S ANTI-BULLYING ADVOCACY, CHECK OUT: