Six parents say the anti-Islamophobia campaign “favors Islam over other religions and grants special protections to Muslim students,” reported the AP.
On the SDUSD’s website, the District explains that they would like to “take action specifically to address the bullying of Muslim students.”
An attorney for the parents, Charles LiMandri, accused the campaign of being a “politically correct solution to a problem that does not exist,” continued the AP report.
The board approved the plan 4-0 on April 4 with one member absent, and drew little attention at the time, according to the AP. Most of the community responded positively, but pushback eventually spread through conservative media.
Critics say it’s an “unwanted intrusion of Muslim beliefs and culture,” reported the AP.
School officials say Muslim students are not getting any special treatment, but staff would like to assure their students and families that the school is safe for all students.
The initiative is focused on combating Islamophobia, promoting awareness of other cultures and helping children feel safe at school, according to SDUSD.
District officials are defending the plan by explaining that bullying of Muslim students is “pervasive and vastly underreported,” according to the AP.
On Tuesday, a lawsuit was filed in federal court that says the policy violates the U.S. Constitution by endorsing a religion, reported the AP.