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CAIR releases latest findings on bullying and discrimination of Muslim students in California

Posted at 12:26 PM, Oct 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-17 06:39:01-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) released a report Wednesday that showed a high percentage of Muslim students in California have been bullied over their religious beliefs.

As part of the report, about 1,500 Muslim students between 11-18 years old were surveyed across California, including 137 in San Diego County.

"A lot of Muslim students aren't even comfortable letting their peers know that they're Muslim," said CAIR San Diego Executive Director Dustin Craun. "So that shows how much discrimination there is toward Muslims in this society, that they can't even be public about who and what their faith is."

The report, titled "Singled Out: Islamophobia in the Classroom and the Impact of Discrimination on Muslim Students," states 40.04 percent of Muslim students reported being bullied at school.

Below is a breakdown of that number:

-- 4.26 percent said they were bullied once a week or more
-- 4.67 percent said they were bullied once a month
-- 7.07 percent said they were bullied sometimes
-- 24.04 percent said they were rarely bullied
-- 59.96 percent said they were never bullied

According to the CAIR report, 70 percent of Muslim students surveyed reported feeling safe, welcome, and respected at their schools. That number is close to the 69 percent reported in 2016.

When asked how often students at their schools make offensive comments about Islam and Muslims on social media, 34.99 percent reported seeing offensive posts -- down from the 57 percent in 2016.

Only 29.76 percent of students reported that a problem was solved when they told a teacher, administrator or another adult that they were being bullied.

"It's unfortunate that religious based discrimination often isn't taken as seriously as racially based discrimination," said Craun.

10News reached out to the San Diego Unified School District the for a request of the latest Muslim student bullying statistics, but a spokesperson said the district does not have the number of incidents.