The Department of Education is going to start tracking discrimination against Muslim students

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The U.S. Department of Education is going to increase its monitoring of Islamophobia in public schools amid troubling series of stories showing Muslim students facing discrimination, abuse and harassment.

The department announced a series of initiatives last week to more closely watch for possible violations of federal anti-discrimination laws in schools. The agency's Office for Civil Rights said it would require schools to report the number of incidents of religious-based bullying or harassment for the first time and created an updated online form for filing discrimination complaints. The department also announced a new website explaining U.S. laws on religious discrimination, a collaboration with the Justice Department and several other initiatives.

While there are no federal laws directly forbidding religious discrimination and harassment against students, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, protects students from, as the DOE website puts it,

discrimination, including harassment, based on a student’s actual or perceived: shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, or citizenship or residency in a country with a dominant religion or distinct religious identity.


These actions feel both necessary, but at the same time not enough, given the problems Muslim students have reported facing in public schools in the last year. Among the more prominent incidents include:

How many of these stories do there need to be before a pattern emerges? I suppose the U.S. Department of Education will find out after it collects the data.