More than Half of California Muslim Students Targeted by Faith-Based Bullying. Civil rights group’s survey of 600+ Muslim students shows bullying at rate twice as high as the national average
The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) today released a new report documenting bias-based bullying of American Muslim students in California’s schools.
The report, “Mislabeled: The Impact of Bullying and Discrimination on California Muslim Students,” states that 55% of Muslim students have been subject to at least one form of religion-based bullying. This is twice as high as the national average of students reporting being bullied at school. The findings are based on a statewide survey of over 600 Muslim students, ages 11 to 18. They were asked questions about how comfortable they felt at their schools and portraying their Muslim identity in that environment, as well as their experiences with bullying and teacher discrimination.
The report found that more male students reported experiencing bullying than female students; however, the percentage of females who reported experiencing discrimination by a teacher or administrator was slightly higher. Additionally, of the female respondents who wear a hijab, the Islamic headscarf, 29% reported being offensively touched by another student, and 27% reported being discriminated by their teacher.
Furthermore, American Muslim youth identified student-teacher relations as needing improvement. Notably, the percentage of students who felt comfortable discussing Islam or Muslims in the classroom dropped from 80% in 2012 to 76% in 2014.