Survey Finds Muslim Students In California Are Subject To Bullying
Thursday, December 19, 2013
A new survey by the California branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations found that half of the Muslim American students who responded are subject to some form of bullying or bias at school.
Aired 12/19/13 on KPBS News.
A survey by the Council on American-Islamic Relations found biased-based bullying against Muslim students is occurring in California schools.
The survey was distributed by the group to California mosques, and tried to pinpoint incidents of bias-based bullying like joking about terrorists, clothing or religious practices.
Nearly 500 Muslim students ages 11 to 18 who attend public school responded to the 10-question survey. Only 1 percent of the respondents were from San Diego. The survey found that while Muslim American students have a generally positive experience in schools, there are exceptions.
Salma Hassane, a junior at La Jolla High School, said she has seen bullying from a teacher.
“It really touches me a lot because it’s not the student who does it. It is the teacher. Which makes it even worse, because when the teacher makes the classroom an okay environment to be bullied, to talk about religion in an inappropriate way, that makes it even worse because now students are free to do it,” Hassane said.
Taha Hassane, an imam at the Islamic Center of San Diego, said many parents come to him with stories of bullying, but some of the incidents don’t get reported.
“Because the majority of our community members are immigrants, and they don’t feel comfortable reporting this,” Hassane said.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is currently investigating 80 cases of discrimination that happened in San Diego county this year, including incidents at schools, work, and in public places.