Dear Parents, Teachers, and School District Leaders,
As I settle into my new role at CAIR-Philadelphia and as we prepare to develop and share with you our student leadership and advocacy project, today I am reaching out about one of the key issues that our Muslim-American students often face.
To mark the beginning of National Bullying Prevention Month, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is providing this document of resources to combat anti-Muslim bigotry in the classroom. As you already know, school bullying continues to be a nationwide challenge. The National Center for Educational Statistics found that one out of every five students report being bullied. According to the Centers for Disease Control, students who experience bullying are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement, and dropping out of school.
Research has demonstrated that Muslims face bullying at twice the rate of the national average. Students of color and other backgrounds are also targets of identity-based bullying. Many Muslim children report that they do not feel safe approaching their teachers or school leaders about bullying, which is a problem in many school districts across the nation.
In 2019, our CAIR-California chapter found that nearly 40% of Muslim students in the state reported being bullied at school for identifying or being perceived as Muslim. CAIR-Massachusetts conducted a survey of 200 Muslim students and discovered that 60% of respondents reported being verbally harassed or physically abused for being Muslim. 33% of respondents had altered their appearance, behavior, or names to hide their Muslim faith. CAIR National’s 2021 Report, Resilience in the Face of Hate, documented 114 school-related incidents ranging from bullying, Islamophobic school curriculum, and holiday denials.
With this in mind, we write to share informative resources that your school district can use to ensure that teachers and administrators are equipped with the necessary tools to address Islamophobia in the classroom. In this document, you will find resources including toolkits, reports, articles, and informational videos. We hope this document will be of benefit to you. Please contact us directly if we can be of further assistance. Thank you for your service.
Asiyah Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth Leadership and Advocacy Projects Coordinator, CAIR-Philadelphia Chapter
“Religious-Based Bullying: Insights on Research and Evidence-Based Best Practices,” Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. September 2018. https://www.ispu.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/ISPU-AMHP-Religious-Based-Bullying.pdf?x46312
“Bullying Report of Massachusetts Muslim Youth: Standing Up & Speaking Out,” CAIR Massachusetts. April 2021. https://www.cairma.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/CAIR-MA-Bullying-Report.pdf
“Singled Out: Islamophobia in the Classroom and the Impact of Discrimination on Muslim Students,” CAIR-California. November 2019. https://ca.cair.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/2019-Bullying-Report.pdf
“Unshakable: The Bullying of Muslim Students and the Unwavering Movement to Eradicate It,” CAIR California. April 2017. https://ca.cair.com/sfba/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/04/2017_CAIR-CA_School_Bullying_Report.pdf
“Meeting the Needs of Muslim Youth: Growing Up Safe and Positively Engaged Online,” Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. January 13, 2016. https://www.ispu.org/growing-up-safe-and-positively-engaged-online/
Toolkits, Guides, and Other Classroom Resources:
“Bullying Prevention Guide for Parents, Teachers, School Administrators and Community Members,” Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. October 2014. https://ing.org/bullying-prevention-guide/
“Bullying and Bias: Addressing Islamophobia in Schools.” https://islamophobia.org/research/bullying-and-bias-addressing-islamophobia-in-schools/
“Educators Toolkit Resources for Teachers, Instructors, and Administrators,” Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. N.d. https://www.ispu.org/educators/
“Bullying Prevention Toolkit,” The Family and Youth Institute. N.d. https://www.thefyi.org/toolkits/youth-support-tool-kit/
“Countering Islamophobia,” Learning for Justice. N.d. https://www.learningforjustice.org/classroom-resources/lessons/countering-islamophobia
“Expelling Islamophobia,” Learning for Justice. September 2017. https://www.learningforjustice.org/magazine/spring-2017/expelling-islamophobia
“Classroom Resources,” Teaching while Muslim. N.d. https://www.teachingwhilemuslim.org/classroom-resources
“Remembering and Reflecting: Teaching September 11th in Diverse Classrooms,” Council on American-Islamic Relations. August 23, 2021. https://www.cair.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SchoolResourcesNew.pdf
“Resource for Teaching & Learning about anti-Muslim Racism in the United States,” Islamophobia is Racism. N.d. https://islamophobiaisracism.wordpress.com/
“Dismantling Islamophobia,” Harvard Graduate School of Education. November 23, 2016. https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/16/11/dismantling-islamophobia
“Teaching ‘different is okay’ to combat Islamophobia in U.S. schools,” PBS NewsHour. May 17, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWM9I6_E8GE&ab_channel=PBSNewsHour
“Muslim Students in America,” Learning for Justice. January 31, 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38cvnHEysuY&ab_channel=LearningforJustice
“Together against school bullying,” UNESCO. November 5, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgMwh5Fnp3I&ab_channel=UNESCO
“Seven Ways to Support Muslim Youth Facing Bullying,” The Family and Youth Institute. October 16, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE2N6LporMQ&ab_channel=TheFamily%26YouthInstitute
“Disrespected for Wearing a Hijab,” storybooth. May 30, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfON_TDYMn0&ab_channel=storybooth