Reporting Bullying and Harassment in School

CAIR-Philadelphia would like to congratulate youth of Voorhees Islamic Center for the successful completion of a MYLP workshop last Sunday. Participants were very engaged and asked many questions. One point of discussion was properly dealing with religious bullying and teasing. How should a student go about reporting being bullied because he or she is Muslim?

Here are the steps that we talked about: (These steps are for verbal bullying on school grounds, assuming that a teacher is not around).

1. Document Everything. When something happens, IMMEDIATELY write down exactly what was said or done, who was involved, and the names of all the witnesses, if any.

2. Tell a Teacher or School Official. After quickly writing everything down, tell a teacher.

3. Tell your Parent or Guardian. When you go home, tell your parents what happened. Parents must be involved in what is going on, and if the situation becomes more serious, they might need to write a letter or meet with the principal.

4. Read your student handbook. Each school has set procedures on dealing with bullying and harassment.

Hopefully, the bully will be reprimanded after step 2. If a student informed his or her teacher, a parent becomes involved, and nothing happens, then contact CAIR-Philadelphia. Every student, regardless of his or her religious background, has the right to be in a safe environment free from harassment or verbal abuse.

By Rugiatu Conteh, CAIR-Philadelphia Outreach and Communications Director