In many schools, bullying can be a huge issue. When kids pick on other students, it seems there is often no group not touched by bullies. Children from all religions, ethnic groups, genders, and abilities can become a victim of bullies. Because a wide range of students can face the wrath of bullies, it seems odd for a public school to only focus its efforts to help both students and staff on a single religious group. This is precisely what occurred first in San Diego, and now CAIR) are tasked with teaching anti-bullying programs in the form of religious-based courses.as members of the Council on American Islamic Relations (
Members of the local CAIR group would like both families and staff to believe that those of the faith face far worse treatment than any other students. Many times their outreach includes a generic message about the poor treatment of this single class without any mention of other groups who are equally targeted for bullying. According to a press release from CAIR about the recent training:
“In the current political environment, Muslim American students are facing increased rates of bullying, emotional abuse, physical threats, and verbal epithets due to their faith, race, or ethnicity.”
This statement is the basis of the programming although the representatives from CAIR provide zero documentation that show these students facing more bullying or that they are the only ones needing to be helped. When the speakers from CAIR shared this as if was fact, the school took it as such. This turned the programming from CAIR into an emergent need for the school since these kids were unfairly singled out. Again there seems to be no real data supporting this theory.
As the members of CAIR became a significant part of diversity training in these schools, an even bigger issue came to light. Just as the parents in San Diego noted, the group in Philadelphia hold itself out to be a faith-based ministry. There are huge red flags there as even a basic understanding of the separation of church and state would lead most to not bring a religious group into teaching at the school.
Parents insued when their district turned over the diversity training to CAIR. They won a lawsuit based on the fact that this violated their students two-fold. According to a report about that case:
“San Diego’s anti-bullying plan violated California law, along with students’ 1st and 14th amendment rights because CAIR is a religious organization and because the program gave students special treatment, the lawsuit said.
Those arguments could apply equally to Philadelphia’s public schools. “The San Diego case is far from over, so there is no doubt it could have precedential value in a legal challenge to Philadelphia schools’ partnership with CAIR,” FCDF Executive Director Daniel Piedra told the IPT.
School districts may not aid one religion, one religion over another, or religion over non-religion, an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) legal bulletin said. It cites the seminal 1972 U.S. Supreme Court case, Lemon v. Kurtzman.”
While the laws of California and Philadelphia may differ, the United States Constitution is still a consideration for both states. One of the biggest tests in Philadelphia is to look at the overall effect of having CAIR again teach diversity. Is this being done to further the cause of just one religious group or to help students overall? The focus on only the needs of students violates the separation of church and state. There is no diversity when it comes to students needs beyond those who are practicing Muslims.
It becomes evident that the only focus on any class lead by the staff of CAIR is pushing a pro-Muslim agenda. There was no talk about valuing all students or learning about a wide range of differences. The focus was only on Islamophobia as CAIR presented the class: “Cultural Sensitivity and Diversity Workshop #1 Topic: Islamophobia.”
As with all of their workshops, this class was taught to further the agenda. It was done so under the cloak of diversity, but there was only one group addressed as far as being the targets of mistreatment. This was focused on the needs of a small percentage of students based on their religion alone.
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