Text of Boston City Council Resolution On Boston Public Schools Accommodating Muslim Students In School System

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2024/03/23/text-of-boston-city-council-resolution-on-boston-public-schools-accommodating-muslim-students-in-school-system/

Editor’s Note:  The Boston City Council unanimously approved a resolution on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 encouraging Boston public schools to encourage and support Muslim students in the school system.  The text is below.  Below that are images of the three pages of the resolution.















WHEREAS, The Boston Public Schools is tasked with educating all of the students in their

charge and therefore, must create a safe and secure haven for its pupils as well as

offer them a rigorous education; and


WHEREAS, Followers of the Islamic faith make up the second biggest religious group of

students who attend our schools, and they are in need of support and services

from culturally competent educators who are aware of how to honor their

identities, allowing them to flourish at school; and


WHEREAS, In an article by Felicia Gans, published in the May 4th, 2021 edition of the Boston

Globe, 61 percent of BPS students and students of surrounding suburbs say that

they have been bullied in school, and 14 percent of our Muslim youth don’t feel

comfortable telling their peers at school that they are Muslim; and


WHEREAS, In the same study referenced in this article, 40 percent said they have heard of a

Muslim student being physically harassed at school, and 17 percent of the

students surveyed said that they themselves have had their hijab pulled and tugged

on; and


WHEREAS, Students have the right to request reasonable accommodation for religious

expression in public schools, such as designated spaces that can be utilized for

prayer, as long as said prayers are not disruptive to their peers, but they are often

too intimidated to ask, despite public schools being required to provide students

an opportunity to practice their religion without favoring one religion over

another; and


WHEREAS, There is currently a dearth of places and times within our schools where Muslim

students can take the breaks they need to pray, as practicing Muslims must pray at

times that correspond to school hours, amplifying the spiritual necessity of the


creation of such spaces that will allow for their spiritual practices; and


WHEREAS, Religious involvement plays an important role in mental health, especially among

marginalized ethnic communities by promoting culture and identity in a largely

white-Christian-dominated society; and


WHEREAS, The generic dietary options that are made available to our BPS students are often

not options that a practicing Muslim can partake in which creates conditions in

which Muslim students must abstain from said food options, or bring food from

home; and


WHEREAS, Thirty-three percent of Muslim students in the Boston area report that they have

altered their appearance, behavior and name to disguise their Muslim identity in

the face of persistent harassment and discrimination; and


WHEREAS, Practicing Muslims often have uniform needs that may conflict with certain

requirements for classes as Muslims often cover their bodies as a part of their

faith, and this needs to be allowed and honored in various contexts, such as gym

classes; and


WHEREAS, There are several Muslim holidays throughout the school year that are not

recognized as city holidays and hence, the students do not get days off, and

religious exemptions for absences must be instituted with a reasonable amount of

time given for students to make up all assignments given during those days, and

specific provisions must be made for the fasting that occurs during Ramadan,

when followers of the faith do complete fasts of both food and drink for a month;



WHEREAS, More attention must be paid to the specific bathroom needs of our Muslim

students, including the proper provision of clean water and soap that will allow

them to purify themselves in the proper manner after every utilization of

bathroom facilities, sufficient privacy needs, and the ability of our pupils to recite

duas, among other matters; and


WHEREAS, Boston Public School policy has as a stated goal of building a safe and supportive

environment, and recognizes and respects the diverse population of its pupils in

their schools and out in the community; and


WHEREAS, Schools play an important role in teaching students about race and ethnicity,

formally and informally, and a student’s own identity is heavily influenced by a

school’s climate, proving the profound importance of progressive education in the

creation of confident and strong willed youth; and


WHEREAS, A positive school climate is one in which students feel safe, respected, and


supported, furthermore, a positive school climate increases student engagement,

improves student outcomes, and improves student mental health; and


WHEREAS, It is the responsibility of our City’s school system to educate all of our youth, to

keep them safe, to encourage the flowering of their full identities, and to

recognize what makes them who they are, including the honoring of their

religious practices; NOW, THEREFORE BE IT


RESOLVED: That the Boston City Council go on record in full support to ensure that the

Boston Public Schools efficiently address the needs of its Muslim Students by

recognizing the diverse and significant challenges faced by Muslim students in

the Boston Public Schools (BPS), urging BPS to proactively address these issues

of instances of bullying, harassment, and the lack of accommodation for

religious practices, and to ensure culturally competent educators who can support

the flourishing of Muslim students in a safe and inclusive environment; BE IT



RESOLVED: That the Boston City Council support the creation of designated spaces for

prayer, accommodation for dietary restrictions, acknowledgment of Muslim

holidays, and attention to specific bathroom needs and to create a positive school

climate to foster student well-being and academic success. Ultimately, the

Boston City Council acknowledges and strongly support efforts to meet the

unique needs of Muslim students within the Boston Public Schools.

Filed on March 6, 2024






Boston City Council resolution on accommodating Muslim students in the Boston Public Schools, adopted unanimously on Wednesday, March 6, 2024.  Source:  Agenda Packet of the Boston City Council for meeting of Wednesday, March 6, 2024.


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