Photo source: Dobbins Middle / Homepage (paulding.k12.ga.us)
CAIR-Georgia Files Civil Rights Complaint Against J.A. Dobbins Middle School for Discriminatory Treatment of Palestinian-American Student
(ATLANTA, GA, 2/7/2024) – The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Georgia) today filed a Title VI civil rights complaint against J.A. Dobbins Middle School for discriminatory and unfair treatment of a Palestinian-American student by the Principal, Dr. Broyles.
On Nov. 15, 2023, the Palestinian-American student was reportedly removed from class by a counselor at the school and was told that he must remove the scarf he was wearing that displayed the Palestinian flag, because it was “offensive.” Even though there were no violations of Paulding County school rules or dress codes, the student was singled out and asked to remove the scarf. The student reported feeling targeted for his Palestinian heritage, embarrassed, anxious, and ashamed.
The next day, the mother of the student spoke with Principal Broyles. The Palestinian-American student was told he was asked to remove the scarf because an unnamed student had felt offended by it. Principal Broyles denied that she gave the order to remove the scarf, despite Assistant Principal Ronnetta Simpson and a lead counselor, Courtnie James stating otherwise.
CAIR-Georgia sent Principal Broyles a letter on November 30, 2023, on behalf of the student, in which she was made aware of the problematic discrimination. She failed to apologize, address the discrimination described in the letter or take steps to remedy or prevent future discrimination towards the student.
Keon Grant, CAIR-Georgia Staff attorney said, “We have seen a massive increase in reports of Islamophobic, anti-Arab, and anti-Palestinian incidents, with many reports coming from a wide range of public schools in the state. While we initially try to reach out to these schools directly in order to address the discrimination, in cases where that is ineffective, it is our hope that filing Title VI Complaints such as this will not only help our clients, but also protect other students who may be facing similar treatment at other schools.”
CAIR-Georgia asks Dobbins Middle School to formally apologize to the student and his mother for a pattern of bias, unequal treatment, and creation of a hostile environment in school.
Similar incidents have occurred in schools nationwide.
Washington, D.C., based CAIR recently released new civil rights data showing that it has received 3,578 complaints during the last three months of 2023 amid an ongoing wave of anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian hate.
CAIR-Georgia’s mission is to protect civil rights, promote justice, empower American Muslims, and enhance the understanding of Islam.