Friday, May 04, 2007

Not a CAIR in the world.

There is no question that bullying can be a problem in Middle School. The best course of action is usually to get the school administration involved to quell the situation. If that falls on deaf ears, it’s pretty much a certainty that a school district superintendent will jump into the fray if a parent is persistent. After all, a superintendent is as a good a politician as there is when it comes to public relations for his/her respective district. A potentially difficult situation can be handled quickly and quietly when a district’s reputation hangs in the balance.

Apparently, one group doesn’t CAIR care to keep such incidents quiet if the bullied student happens to be of a certain religious affiliation.

An Islamic advocacy group is seeking an investigation into a series of alleged anti-Muslim incidents at a Blaine middle school, in which two girls say they've been taunted and had food thrown at them for wearing headscarves.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on AmericanIslamic Relations alleges that the staff at Westwood Middle School has under-reacted to complaints from two families that their daughters were being bullied for being Muslim.

Yes, that’s CAIR, the same group who rushed to the defense of the disruptive Imams on the US Airlines flight last year. The same Imams who were spewing anti-American sentiments as well as exhibiting strange behavior which made the other passengers feel threatened.

"I wish these were isolated incidents, but they're not," said Lori Saroya, chairwoman of the newly formed Minnesota chapter.

"And most of the time, they're not even reported."

Saroya said the parents of two Blaine girls called the group April 20 after an alleged incident in the lunchroom resulted in a Muslim girl being disciplined by an assistant principal who the girl said chastised her using the Quran.

Don Helmstetter, Spring Lake Park district superintendent, said Thursday's letter was the first he'd heard of the incidents. He opened an investigation immediately.

"All of us as parents need to feel a sense of security and justice and a sense of due process if we think something is happening to our child," he said. "Clearly these parents didn't feel that, and that's our shame. We need to work on that."

What did I tell you about the superintendents being the consummate politicians? In all honesty, I sympathize with Mr. Helmstetter. This caught him completely off guard and it took an organization like CAIR to bring it to light. Of course, CAIR realizes there is no such thing as bad publicity. Anything to gain the sympathies of the general public isn’t a bad thing.

The story also goes on to say that Ms. Saroya seeks to meet with Westwood’s principal in an effort to implement “sensitivity training” for the staff. This has to be one of the most asinine aspects of the whole incident. Because one staff member allegedly drops the ball in handling an unfortunate incident the whole staff must now undergo training.

If anything, Westwood Middle School has gone out of their way to accommodate the Muslim faith, to the point of coming dangerously close to violating the establishment clause in the First Amendment. Last fall, Westwood teachers were instructed to allow Muslim students to be excused from class to be able to pray in the media center during Ramadan. However, the Christian students are never extended that same courtesy, to the point where they can’t display signs of “Jesus is the reason for the season” in December.

I’m all for disciplinary action against bullies as well as staff members who violate punishment etiquette.

But it shouldn’t take a publicity-hungry advocacy group to ensure such protocol is followed.

1 comment:

hammerswing75 said...

We chatted about this sort of thing at Keegan's last night. If courts are going to insist on strict separation of church and state they had better do it consistently. I'm starting to get the vibe that the separation of church and state is really just an excuse to bury Christianity.

Just to be clear, I don't necessarily mind if there is separation. Too often Christianity can become merely "cultural". Maybe if people have to go out of their way to include it in their lives it will be what it should be, a transformative way of life.