Equity & Diversity News in Brief

San Diego’s Anti-Islamophopic Efforts Can Stay in Place, Federal Judge Rules

By Tribune News Service — October 02, 2018 1 min read

A federal judge last week rejected an attempt by parents to shut down the San Diego district’s anti-Islamophobia efforts, saying that they could not prove the program was unconstitutional and favored Islam over other religions.

While the decision did not close the case, the judge indicated in her 54-page ruling that she thinks the district is likely to prevail.

In 2016, the district decided to develop an initiative to address anti-Muslim bullying. Last year, the school board voted to draft a policy to protect Muslim students from bullying and increase education about Islam. It planned to do so in partnership with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a group that works to combat Islamophobia.

Six parents and two organizations sued the district, claiming the initiative and the proposed partnership with the foundation gave a discriminatory preference to Muslim students and Islam.

In response to the lawsuit, the district backed off from a formal partnership with the foundation and instead partnered with the Anti-Defamation League on a broader anti-bullying program that included anti-Islamophobia efforts.

U.S. District Judge Cynthia Bashant wrote that the district’s revised policy “should clear any remaining doubt about the district’s secular purpose.”

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A version of this article appeared in the October 03, 2018 edition of Education Week as San Diego’s Anti-Islamophopic Efforts Can Stay in Place, Federal Judge Rules

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