That’s right, a few months ago a young Muslim called CAIR-Philadelphia’s office expressing suicidal thoughts due to extreme school bullying. We immediately took necessary steps to resolve the situation, and the youth is doing fine now.
School bullying and harassment is a major issue in our community. Many Muslim youth complain of being called a terrorist or Osama bin Laden. Not only that, others suffer physical abuse including pushing, hitting and yanking off religious clothing such as hijab or a kufi. Islamophobia is not an abstract term, it manifests itself on Fox news, in the workplace and now on the playground.
CAIR-Philadelphia has made it a top priority to lead the way in addressing school bullying. Our strategy: Empower Kids. Empower Parents. Direct Advocacy.
We are currently representing a 12-year-old who is continuously bullied and harassed at school. He is verbally taunted and shoved against lockers by peers. Despite multiple complaints made by this child and his parents, school authorities have not taken any action. CAIR-Philadelphia has provided legal services for this youth and a summary trial is scheduled later this summer.
PRESENTATION – School Bullying: An Overview of the Social and Legal Issues
Civil Rights Director Amara Chaudhry along with representatives from the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations and Morgan Lewis Law Firm led a panel discussion to over 50 lawyers and activists on Monday. The workshop focused on the phenomenon of bullying within America’s youth and the related social and legal issues.
THE BOTTOM LINE
We urge youth and parents to report incidents of bullying and harassment to school officials and CAIR-Philadelphia as soon as it occurs. “Kids will not just be kids.” Bullying is a serious problem that can lead to low self-esteem, depression and suicide, among other issues.
CAIR-Philadelphia’s Anti-Bullying workshop for youth at your mosque or community center: firstname.lastname@example.org, 215-592-0509
PARENTS WATCH OUT FOR
A workshop designed to train you on how to effectively advocate for your child in bullying situations.