School May Expel Muslim Teens for Standing up to Bullies, After Ignoring Their Pleas for Years
Two Muslim teens say their New York school has ignored their complaints about bullying for years — and now they may be expelled for fighting back.
Adam and Jameel Siam said they have suffered anti-Muslim harassment for at least two years at Williamsville East High School, but they said administrators have done nothing to address their complaints, reported WIVB-TV.
“I was bullied for Osama bin Laden, I’ve been called a terrorist,” said Jameel, a junior. “We’ve been called terrorists, go back home and make bombs in your basement or you’re going to come back and shoot up the school — and it’s just like, people kept pushing our buttons.”
The boys have attended schools in the western New York village since preschool, but they said the bullying has recently grown worse.
“You don’t know if someone is going to come up behind you or come right up to you and say something,” said Adam, a sophomore. “You always have to watch where you are, what you’re doing, who’s around you. You always gotta have a watch out.”
They’re hounded on social media and harassed in the hallways at school, and vandals broke windows and doors at the family’s home over the weekend by throwing rocks and eggs.
The boys have filed at least two reports with Amherst police, the TV station reported — once after a fight in December and then again after their home was vandalized.
Their mother said she has repeatedly asked school officials to help stop the bullying, but she said her complaints have been ignored.
“This has been festering for years now,” Rehab Siam said. “They’ve never looked into the whole serious issue.”
Now the boys face an expulsion hearing after fighting with their tormenters.
“When I go into school, all I hear are these racial comments,” Jameel said. “It just keeps pushing my buttons where I don’t focus on my studies anymore, I focus on my safety.”
The disciplinary hearing had been scheduled for Monday but was pushed back, and the school superintendent declined to comment specifically on the matter but said administrators took bullying seriously and would punish any behavior that compromised student safety.
Police are still investigating the vandalism and fight.
“I can’t live a normal life now, especially how they came to my house,” Jameel said. “It’s not only at school that I need to be afraid, it’s that I have to be afraid everywhere I am now.”
Watch this news report posted online by WIVB-TV: