With anti-Muslim Hate on the Rise, Local Schools Hope to Respond with Education, Accommodations, and Compassion!

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Shukri Diriye is a middle school student at Tukwila, Washington, one of the most diverse schools in America, students say they’ve seen a different kind of bullying arise this year. Photo by CNN Money

As new school year nears, administrators seek ways to increase tolerance and understanding

 (SEATTLE, WA – August ‘17) –  This September, more than a million students will return to Washington public schools. But for our region’s growing population of American Muslim students, school is too often a place of bullying and fear.

 In a recent survey by CAIR Washington and The Muslim Community Resource Center (MCRC), Almost 62% of students surveyed reported they feel more unsafe in public since the presidential election. Over 64% said they fear more for their family’s safety.

 And with reports showing that anti-Muslim bias and hate crimes have increased 91% in the past year, many are worried about the impacts on kids.

Some local schools are responding with anti-bias workshops, community conversations about bullying, education about Islam and recognition of, and accommodations for, Muslim holidays like Ramadan.

CAIR-WA is sending letters to all 306 school districts in Washington State with information about Muslim holidays and suggestions for how students can be supported during these holidays.

 INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:

 Jasmin Samy, Civil Rights Director for CAIR-WAhas studied the impacts of anti-Muslim hate on children. She can speak to CAIR-WA’s campaign to increase cultural competency about Islam, and encourage accommodations for Muslim students, in our schools.

 Erika Hanson, Assistant Principal at Kentlake High School. Last year, anti-Kentlake responded to anti-Islamic hate mail with culturally relevant programming. More is planned for the coming year.

 Nasarin Ahmed, An American Muslim staff member at Kentlake High School who received anti-Islamic hate mail and worked with administrators and staff to help educate the school’s community

 CAIR-WA Media & Outreach Director, Sarah Stuteville

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