CAIR-CA Welcomes Dream Act and Legislation Targeting Bullying
Los Angeles, CA: The Council on American-Islamic Relations, California chapter (CAIR-CA) October 14 applauded Gov. Brown and state lawmakers for passing two key pieces of legislation, thereby ensuring higher education for more Californians and making schools safer for students.
Brown and the California Legislature signed the second part of the state Dream Act, AB 131, into law this month after Brown signed the first part of the bill (AB 130) in late July. The legislation expanded access to private financial aid for undocumented college students who have attended high school in the US. AB 131 further expands access to education for undocumented students. CAIR-CA commends the dedication of the governor, Senator Gil Cedillo, and other California activists who understand that the nation's prosperity lies in granting education access to all.
Passage of the other piece of legislation this month, AB 9 (also commonly called Seth's Law), now requires schools to strengthen their policies around school-related discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying. AB 9, among other things, requires schools to now include in their procedures a method for receiving and investigating discrimination and harassment complaints. Schools will be required to act on discrimination and harassment complaints promptly to allow for proper and timely investigation and resolution.
"By passing the state Dream Act and Seth's Law, our Governor and legislature have rightly put California families and children first," said CAIR-CA President Masoud Nassimi. "AB 131 sends a clear message that students who work hard, regardless of their background or status, will now be able to achieve their educational dreams. And with the passage of AB 9, we are strengthening the tools to fight bullying, and ensure a safe and welcoming learning environment for our children."
CAIR-CA, over the past several years, has conducted workshops for community members, educators and lawmakers to highlight the growing need for early detection of bullying and harassment of Muslim students as well as promote conflict resolution strategies. For example, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush spoke at a federal summit on bullying in Washington DC last month.
Parents and students who have questions about experiences at school involving harassment and bullying should contact their local CAIR office to speak to a member of the civil rights department. For CAIR-LA anti-bullying resources, visit the website.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.