Choking a Muslim student with her hijab. Punching a Sikh boy wearing a turban. Burning a Jewish boy with hot wax. A just-released Department of Education report found that an alarming 10,848 incidents of religiously-motivated bullying and harassment took place in U.S. public schools during 2015-16. That’s approximately 30 incidents per school day, 150 per school week and 602 per school month. Religiously-motivated hate crimes have spiked across our country, and we now know that religiously-motivated harassment and bullying are infiltrating our nation’s schools. Our federal government, however, is not doing enough about it.
A 2018 report by South Asian Americans Leading Together found that over a quarter of incidents of reported hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric against South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Middle Eastern, and Arab individuals in November 2016-November 2017 involved students and youth. A 2014 report by the Sikh Coalition found that over half of Sikh children in the U.S. said they were bullied in school, and 67 percent reported being bullied if wearing a turban. And the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found that anti-Semitic incidents in K-12 schools and on college campuses nearly doubled last year.