How Schools Can Create a Safe Environment for Muslim Students

How can schools create an environment where Muslim students feel safe and respected? How can schools prevent and address anti-Muslim bullying, rhetoric, and activity, both in the classroom and in the school community? And how can schools offer students support after traumatic events such as the attacks at a mosque in New Zealand? Here is a collection of resources on the topic and ideas on how to use books and author interviews to foster empathy and spark dialogue; we'll add new resources as they become available.

For additional ideas, see our guide How to Support Immigrant Students and Families: Strategies for Schools and Early Childhood Programs.

Resources for Educators

How Educators and School Leaders Can Create a 'Safe Learning Environment' for Students

This 2016 archived letter from the U.S. Department of Education offers ideas on how schools can create a 'safe learning environment' for all students, including 'those who are, or are perceived to be, Syrian, Muslim, Middle Eastern, or Arab, as well as those who are Sikh, Jewish, or students of color.'

Perspective: Parents, we need to teach our children about the dangers of hate-laced speech against Muslims (The Washington Post)

This column from author Hena Khan speaks to the importance of talking with all kids about hateful speech, bullying, and bias.

Teaching Tolerance

Anti-Defamation League: Educational resources

PBS NewsHour

Bias and bullying

Additional lesson plans and resources

Talking about tough topics in the news


Making Students Feel Welcome

Creating a warm welcome for immigrant families in the front office


When the window becomes the mirror

“When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection, we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience.”

— Rudine Sims Bishop

Books and Authors

We've compiled some of our booklists of titles featuring Muslim characters, celebrations, or stories.

Booklists

Books by Theme

Books by Author

More recommended resources

Building bridges through books

Turning the Page, an education non-profit supporting family engagement in DC and Chicago Public Schools, builds summer learning experiences for families. One such excursion took children to the Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler Galleries to tour their exhibit, Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan, learn about Islamic art, and make their own ornament from a printable pattern guide to take home.

Videos

These excerpts are part of our Facebook Live conversation with Hena Khan. See more videos in our Meet the Author interviews with Hena Khan and Rukhsana Khan.

Including the Vandalism of a Mosque in Amina's Voice

What I am learning from my sons and other young American Muslims about their experiences

Conversations with kids in schools

"Under My Hijab"