SACRAMENTO — Assemblymember Mariko Yamada (D-Davis) issued the following statement Dec. 19 on the release of a report by the Council of American-Islamic Relations entitled “Growing in Faith: California Muslim Youth Experiences with Bullying, Harassment and Religious Accommodation in Schools”:
“To read that half of the Muslim children surveyed reported verbal or physical attacks based on their religious background is truly disheartening. Students of every faith should be safe from bullying, and should have access to justice when it occurs.”
The report interviewed 471 students between the ages of 11 and 18 who attended California’s public schools and found that approximately one in five young women reported being bullied because they wore an Islamic headscarf (hijab) to school. More than one-third of bullying victims surveyed indicated that harassment incidents reported to school administrators went unresolved.
Yamada is the author of AB 1964, the Workplace Religious Freedom Act of 2012, legislation that stipulates that segregating an employee from public view is not a reasonable accommodation of an employee’s religious beliefs. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown and became effective last January.