Chicago civil rights group launches anti-bullying initiative aimed at suburban school districts

Chicago News

CHICAGO — The Chicago chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, CAIR, has launched an anti-bullying initiative, aiming to alleviate a worsening issue at suburban Chicago school districts.

Aishah Hasan describes the constant torment she said her brother Ibrahim went though as a student at Lincoln-Way Central Community High School before his family said he took his own life on September 3 at the age of 16 years old.

“I believe that my little brother isn’t here today because the coaches, teachers and students at Lincoln-Way Central, they decided he was too Arab and Muslim to be treated like a human being. To this day, the school has not acknowledged his passing to the student body, sent back his belongings or reached out to our family,” Aishah Hasan said.

Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 sent WGN a statement which reads:

“In the case of the tragic loss of a Central student, a thorough investigation was conducted both by the district and by local law enforcement agencies where students, staff, coaches, parents and local authorities were interviewed. There was no evidence of bullying in this case. Following this tragic loss, students, staff, coaches and administrators attended the services, and school counselors and social workers met with groups of students to provide support. Administration made multiple attempts to contact the family, but were unsuccessful in connecting with them. The school had none of the student’s belongings in its possession at the time of his passing.”

Zoya Shaik, a sophomore at Lisle Senior High School spoke about being bullied by a teaching assistant.

“An instructor brought politics. Racially and religiously motivated topics into a classroom that were directed toward me, the only hijab-wearing student attending our school currently,” Shaik said.

Shaik said a teaching assistant in a health class at the high school ranted about race and background checks for “these people”, using offensive language when referring to immigration, deportation and indigenous people on October 25.

Lisle District 202 sent WGN a statement which reads in part:

“The concerns raised at the October 25, 2021 board meeting about a recent troubling conversation with a teaching assistant during one of her classes have been taken very seriously. The situation has been, and continues to be, under investigation.”

Organizers with CAIR Chicago said they’re hoping will help put a stop to this, providing a 24/7 hotline.

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