Update on School Bullying Cases

In our January 8 update, we told you about two school bullying cases which had recently come into the CAIR-Philadelphia office.  One case involved a school faculty member who made several anti-Muslim remarks, and the other case involved a child who was called “Osama Bin Laden” and “terrorist” while the school told his family that “kids will be kids.”  As you may recall, this child was involved in an altercation in which multiple children from his school kicked him while he was lying on the ground – and other children were video recording the incident on their cellular phones.

Our Legal Department is proud to report that we have favorably resolved one of these cases, and we have made progress toward resolving the other case as well.

CASE #1:  EDUCATOR MISCONDUCT

In our January 8 e-newsletter, we told you that Legal Director Amara Chaudhry-Kravitz had sent a letter to all school (and school district) personnel which supervised the faculty member who had uttered the anti-Muslim remarks (describing Muslims as sexual deviants who transgress a number of socially acceptable norms with respect to sex and gender).

We are proud to report that Amara’s letter had the desired results.  The school principal has notified us, also by letter, that the faculty member has been reprimanded for his actions, receiving a suspension without pay as a result of his conduct.

According to Amara, “I am satisfied with the actions taken by the school, and I believe this faculty member now knows that such conduct will not be tolerated.  I also applaud the school, and the school district, for recognizing the seriousness of educator misconduct.  School personnel are authority figures to whom children accord a great deal of respect, and remarks made by school personnel are generally persuasive and accepted as true to many of the children who hear these remarks.  This is why I have concerns whenever I learn of anti-Muslim comments being uttered by school personnel to students on school grounds.”

CASE #2:  SCHOOL BULLYING (INCLUDING VIOLENCE)

On the second case, Legal Director Amara Chaudhry-Kravitz again sent a letter to the school notifying the school of the bullying, demanding that the school and school district take specific concrete measures to address the bullying, and advising the school and school district of CAIR-Philadelphia’s willingness to pursue legal redress if an amicable resolution cannot be reached by the parties.

As a result of Amara’s letter, both the school and school district have been in communication with CAIR-Philadelphia through Staff Attorney Ryan Tack-Hooper.  Ryan is attempting to resolve this matter amicably.  Due to the nature of this case, the exact details of Ryan’s negotiations will remain confidential.  However, Ryan will be working steadfastly to achieve justice for the victim and the victim’s family, and we will update you as appropriate.

“I have faith that Ryan will zealously represent this child and his family,” says our exiting Legal Director.  “Please keep this child, and the child’s family, in your thoughts and prayers.”