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Fight Anti-Islamic Sentiment! Pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act!

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Facts About the Current Anti-Islamic Sentiment in the United States

  • Anti-Islam bills are law in ten states. To date, however, none of these laws have been invoked in legal proceedings
  • 81 total bills or amendments introduced between 2013-2015
  • 2015 saw the largest number of cases in both the Damage/Destruction/Vandalism category as well as the Intimidation category
  • Since late 2014 especially, anti-Islam sentiment appears to have adopted a more violent tone
    • Daesh (ISIS) murdered two Americans in late August of 2014, Americans responded with rejection and revulsion
  • At least two states, Florida and Tennessee, have passed laws revising the way they approve textbooks for classroom use as a direct result of anti-Islam campaigns
  • Teachers simply informing students of the tenets of Islam’s central belief system generated backlash and allegations of attempts to indoctrinate students to become Muslims.

Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA)

  • school districts in states that receive ESEA funds must adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment, including on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion.
  • States must report data on bullying and harassment every two years to Department of Education
  • The act is currently supported by numerous education, health, law enforcement, and youth development organizations
  • The act is currently endorsed by the: American Federation of Teachers, American School Health Association, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Education Association, and National Parent Teacher Association

Goals and Benefits of Passing the Safe Schools Improvement Act for Islam and muslim students

  • Goal: For Islam to have an equal place as other faith, especially in schools
  • Benefits:
    • Advance the American ideal of “many uniting into one.”
    • Normalize Islam among many faiths in America’s “pluralistic society”
    • Implement a more accepting, open-minded mindset for non-Muslim American students
    • Allow Muslim American students to contribute ideas
    • Allow Muslim American students to be innovative and proactive
    • Free the constraints imposed upon Muslim American students by bias
Current Status of Act: SSIA was introduced in the House by Reps. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) and Chris Gibson (R-NY) on June 25, 2015 and in the Senate by Sens. Robert Casey (D-PA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) on January 29, 2015.

What YOU can do:

Email your district's representative or state's senator! We've created a template for you!

Subject line: Constituents in support of the Safe School Improvement Act

Dear __________ (Legislator)___________

I write to you in strong support of the Safe School Improvement Act, a revision to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that would require schools receiving ESEA funds to adopt codes of conducts that prohibit bullying and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion. With 42 cosponsors in the Senate I urge you to allow this bill a vote in the (SENATE/HOUSE)

We have witnessed and heard stories about many minority students in our school being discriminated against. In particular, an islamic student was confronted by a substitute teacher about being affiliated with ISIS. In a similar case, another islamic student was prohibited from participating in a school basketball game due to her hijab, a religious headpiece, not matching her school uniform. When the islamic student voiced out her opinion regarding this discrimination, the school administration sided with the original ruling and no action was taken.

As an advocate against discrimination, harassment, and islamophobia, I, and organizations such as Counsel on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Tolerance, urge you to bring this bill to the (HOUSE/SENATE) floor for a vote.

I thank you in advance for your support on this critical piece of legislation



How to find your local representative in Congress:

Again, the Safe Schools Improvement Act was reintroduced in 2015 by Bob Casey (D-PA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) in the Senate, and Linda Sanchez (D-CA) in the House of Representatives. It is unclear when the SSIA will become law, but reaching out to your local representatives through email or calls will allow them to hear your voice! The representatives you've elected will advocate the bill that their constituents are supportive of.

First, start off by visiting the GLSEN website.

Simply enter your zip code and you will see who represents your voice in your federal, state, and territory government.

Once you have found a list of your representatives, visit their website and select "Contact." This will usually allow you to leave a message after filling out your information such as address, email, and the topic of your message.

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