Discrimination in the educational institutions in the United States


This research paper investigates the issue of discrimination against the Muslim girls in the middle and high schools in New York City. Moreover, this work provides a comprehensive literature review to study the causes, implications, and the ways of reducing discrimination against the Muslim girls in New York. The results of the survey conclude that laxity of the government, reluctance of the parents to guide their children, increased terror activities, and lack of strict measures are the primary causes of discrimination against the Muslim females. Furthermore, the paper identifies poor performance, school dropouts, reduced self-esteem and confidence, increased hatred as well as drug and alcohol abuse as the direct impacts of discrimination against the girls. Moreover, the research identifies training, equal treatment of all the students, and sticking to the admission criteria as some of the ways to reduce the afore-mentioned problem. Finally, the paper recommends introducing the examinable subject on the discrimination to deter future cases of its occurrence.


Discrimination refers to the unfavorable treatment of a person based on one or more protected characteristics. It occurs in diverse sectors of the economy. However, the act is more developed in the countries, where an immigrant has unusual features or characteristics that are opposite to those of the foreign country. Discrimination occurs in different forms. For example, workplace discrimination involves the unfavorable treatment of people based on undesirable physical characteristics among other elements. In addition, religious discrimination refers to the segregation of individuals for their religious affiliation. However, age discrimination relates to the exclusion of people due to their ages. Consequently, younger population is treated unfairly, while elderly people are praised. Finally, gender discrimination revolves around the segregation of individuals due to their male or female statuses. Discrimination in the educational institutions in the United States schools dates back to the period of the countrys formation. First, the country had black and white schools, in which the students from one of the communities could not attend the classes of the other. However, due to the constant civil movements as well as ratification of the laws and legislatures, the schools become available for both the white and black students. Recently, discrimination has spread further with the negative perception of the Muslim community. The suggestions of presidential candidates regarding the apparent deportation of the Muslim community have worsened the situation for the victims (Teachers College Columbia University, 2016). The threats of terrorist attacks have created a hostile environment for the Muslims girls, who cover their body parts with hijabs. The same case refers to other areas, such as workplace and public spaces. The advance is creating a hostile learning and working environment for the Muslims in the United States. This paper adopts a literature review methodology to identify the causes, implications and some of the ways to reduce discrimination against the Muslim girls in the middle and high schools of New York. Specifically, the research paper will consider discrimination of the Muslim girls in Chelsea, Brooklyn, and Harlem, which are the neighboring cities of New York.


Discrimination contributes to adverse impacts on the affected communities. Moreover, it may occur in the specific forms such as bullying, verbal abuse, name calling, teasing, and exclusion in schools.

Physical and Emotional Impacts

Discrimination in the educational institutions often contributes to the adverse emotional and physical implications for the victim. For example, exclusion directed to a student due to his uncontrolled conditions can lead to his extreme concern. Moreover, he may perceive his personality as the one, which lacks essential elements necessary to cooperate with others, which may not be the case. Consequently, extreme worry may contribute to anxiety and sadness during the first encounters of the discrimination (Ahmed, Patel, & Hashem, 2015). However, the given act may lead to more adverse effects such as feeling of guiltiness, emptiness, and depression. The outcome of the above situation may be the loss of interest in learning contributing to poor performance in school. In addition, depression may contribute to the eating disorders among the students, thereby leading to poor eating habits and, consequently, poor health condition. Most importantly, discrimination among the students can cause the stress as some of them may not be able to express themselves to the administration or their parents, when they need to share some important facts about their performance in schools. Consequently, most of the students may quit the educational establishment in order to avoid further prejudice and discrimination leading to more serious problems in the future. School dropouts may lack the substantial income to cater for their families in the later stages of life, hence increasing the dependency on their other family members and parents. The given cycle may contribute to poverty.

Social and Educational Impacts

Discrimination against students in the middle and high schools may lead to the negative social and educational implications. For example, victimization or bullying may leave the student broken and confused for the purpose of education (Rigza, 2015). The schools offer an opportunity for growth allowing the students to interact, share ideas, and provide innovations. Therefore, if the same place becomes a real battleground, where the students need to fight for the characteristics, which are beyond their control, they may have ill perception related to the importance of schools and education. However, victimization may contribute to the development of hatred directed towards the majority of students limiting interactions and cooperation. Consequently, they may resort to alcohol and other drugs abuse aiming to remain relevant in the school environment. Some acts may develop into acute problems, leaving the single option to the student, which is dropping out the school. Likewise, discrimination may lead to the formation of opinions about self, which may be worse than expected. For example, the students may conceive as not intelligent, ugly or not accepted by the society, creating personal crisis, which may lead to the decreased self-esteem and confidence (Bayoumi, 2001). Consequently, the students may develop undesirable attitudes, resort to fighting while in schools and record poor performance during the class work. The hostile attitude may spill to the society, and the students may fight with other teenagers from their residential areas. The accumulation of hostile attitudes and negative perception of the community may influence and deteriorate the life of the teenager. In addition, such attitude may adversely affect the contribution of the students to the society leading to the reduced science innovations, hence inefficiencies in the economy. The overall impact of the discrimination may be poor social interactions, poor performance in schools, and inefficiencies in the economy due to the lack of skilled expertise in the future.

Therefore, understanding discrimination in schools is a critical issue, which one may treat in numerous ways. For example, understanding biases is crucial in identifying the patterns of the acts in schools. Consequently, the comprehension of the matter can be instrumental in enacting measures to restrict or break the pattern of discrimination. For example, understanding discrimination in New York is significant in explaining the reasons for which it is most apparent in the middle and high schools. In addition, comprehension of the vice is critical in informing the schools about adoption of the stricter measures to the students propagating discrimination towards the Muslim girls in the neighboring cities of New York (American Civil Liberties Union, 2016). Such measures could include expulsion or suspension from the schools for a certain period. In addition, understanding the problem of discrimination can be critical in informing the parents how to teach their children about the need to respect the people and provide a good example to their counterparts from other communities. Consequently, the parents may teach their children to recognize the differences between the existing cultures and allow diversity as a positive development in the schools. Understanding the problem connected with discrimination of the Muslims girls in the middle and high schools can be critical in teaching the students to accept and appreciate diversity. Thus, the teenagers can learn tolerance towards other students, allow fruitful interactions, and foster inclusion of different cultures to ensure that all the students participate in the growth and development of the American educational system (Chandler, 2016). Finally, comprehending the problem of discrimination in the American schools can be imperative in informing the government and state agencies about enacting guidelines and legislation aimed at curbing the performance in all public schools. Moreover, the government can implement necessary measures in order to reduce victimization and bullying in the learning process (Chandler, 2016).

Literature Review

Irshad, (2015) identifies that the parents are the primary contributors of discrimination in the American educational institutions. They fail to teach and inform their children about the importance of diversity in schools. According to Irshad (2015), the children are born happy without discrimination. However, the parents fail to guide them and explain the need to respect others with unique physical and appearance characteristics. Furthermore, Irshad (2015) indicates that the reason, for which the majority of white schools have more prejudices, is the fact that the white parents incite and demean people of other races in the presence of their children.

On the other hand, Rigza (2015) identifies that laxity of the school administration to fight the vice is also a major contributor to the problem. Although most schools have enacted policies and guidelines aimed to control and decimate such acts, there are few of them control implementation of these policies. Rigza (2015) continues to argue that most schools have the white majority in the school boards. Consequently, they do not pay much attention to any gross misconduct perpetrated by the white students, or the punishment is lenient to deter future prejudice in most public schools of New York. Thus, failure of the school management to pass corporal punishment to the perpetrators serves as reason for encouraging the vice in most New York public schools.

According to Chandler (2016), different political events and the past terrorist activities have contributed to the discrimination against most of the Muslim students in the educational establishments, not only in New York but also in all the states. Apparently, Muslims have participated in the terrorist activities, which happened in the US. According to Moftah (2015), the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, the 9/11 tragedy, the attack on the Pentagon, and fatal shootings perpetrated by the Muslim community members have contributed to the promoted prejudices against the Muslim students. Thus, the white people consider that the Muslim community is a source of troubles, does not have any values and contributes to massive destruction of the property. The Donald Trump suggestion to deport all Muslims to the Middle East has increased the prejudice of the Muslim community in schools as well as in the public domain. The world community is waiting for implementation of Donald Trumps promises after his overwhelming election victory.

Otterman (2014) identifies that the government bears responsibility for the increased cases of discrimination against the Muslim population. This authority has persistently refused to enact stiff measures and legislation requiring that all students live harmoniously. Moreover, the government officials do not hold the school's board responsible for the cases of discrimination reported in their schools regarding public holidays for the Muslim communities as demonstration of appreciation to their legitimacy. Otterman (2014) discloses that such a failure clearly indicates the unwillingness of the government to deal with the problem.

On the other hand, Cristillo (2008) states that discrimination is likely to cause loss of interest in the class work. Schools that have frequent cases of discrimination usually reports instances of uncompleted assignments and homework as most of them find it unfavorable to learn in a charged class environment. In addition, the students lose concentration while in class, especially when involved in bullying or dangerous confrontation with other classmates. Therefore, the author argues that introduction of counseling or reporting offices can help the students continue learning in such environments.

The research conducted by Cristillo (2008) concluded that discrimination in the educational institutions is likely to contribute to the schools drop. Following the survey conducted with 10 students who experience bullying in school, 2 are likely to drop out. Therefore, the teenagers leave the schools to avoid further mockery, bullying, victimization, and physical confrontations. Cristillo (2008) continues to argue that when the environment in schools becomes unfavorable, the students may consider that quitting the institution is the only remedy. The teenagers who opt to resist usually suffer from reduced self-esteem and confidence because they may consider themselves as unattractive or below average level, which may not be the case.

Ahmed et al. (2015) argues that students suffering from discrimination are likely to develop a hatred for other classmates. Consequently, they may limit social interactions with the majority of students and resort to violence as a way of dealing with the occurred problems. Such students experience sadness, rejection, and emptiness. As a direct consequence, their levels of stress may rise dramatically forcing the students to alcohol and drug abuse. The advance may have far-reaching impacts on their education, society, and economy of the country as they may not become independent citizens in the future.

New York City Commission on Human Rights (2003) states that equal treatment of all the students in the high and middle schools can help reduce discrimination against the teenagers from a particular community. Therefore, ensuring that the stipulated rules and regulations are followed equally can ensure that the majority of students from do not feel superior to others in the classroom. New York City Commission on Human Rights (2003) argues further that applying the same rewarding and equal induction to the special club rules can help create a culture of equality for all the students. Consequently, they can understand the importance of diversity, especially in the drama circle, sports, or wildlife club.

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According to the arguments provided by Marymount School of New York (2016), training the students on different forms of institutional discrimination can help deal with the problem of prejudice in the New York schools. Educating the students on tolerance towards others, regardless of their religion, can highly contribute to the decreased number of discrimination incidences. In addition, training the students on the importance of respecting other peoples culture can help reduce the vice. Moreover, encouraging them to enhance social interactions among all the students can contribute to the improved communication among the teenagers in the leading schools in New York and its neighboring cities.

According to Teachers College Columbia University (2016), sticking to the admission requirements, which exist in the educational institutions, can help reduce the cases of discrimination towards the Muslims girls. Consequently, such advance can ensure that all the students in the school have nearly similar academic capabilities, thus promoting the culture of interactions in the classroom. In addition, it will ensure that some students do not occupy more favorable position in the class matters as it may contribute to the inequality and, consequently, bullying and victimization.

Finally, according to American Civil Liberties Union (2016), invoking all the enacted policies and guidelines from the state and federal agencies can help reduce the vice. American Civil Liberties Union (2016) establishes that the existing regulations have the capacity of eliminating and fighting the vice in the most American schools. However, the laxity of the schools boards to advance punishment to the perpetrators has more harmful implications than the positive ones. Therefore, proper utilizations of the existing policies can significantly reduce bullying and victimization. American Civil Liberties Union (2016) identifies that enhancing reporting of discrimination without fear of retaliation can ensure that the students report the incidences immediately after their occurrence. Hence, the school administration can act by applying appropriate measures such as expulsion, suspension, or other forms of punishment.


The New York government has introduced several policies and guidelines to reduce harassment and discrimination against non-conforming and transgender students. The guidance to the district schools results from numerous negotiations between the New York state education department and the New York civil liberties. The guideline emerges following the well-documented discrimination and bullying cases in all the district schools. Most of the concerned victims are the students in the middle and high schools, especially the Muslim community (Carnes, 2016). The guideline stipulates on the ways to comply with the state, national, and federal nondiscriminatory policies and legislation. From the critical point of view, the guidance provides a list of frequently asked questions regarding the common forms of discrimination among the minority of groups and the way to reduce discrimination.

In addition, the Equal Educational Opportunity program guarantees that all the students, regardless of their race and religion, will access education without discrimination. Consequently, the law provides all the students with protection against bullying and encourages all the New York schools to implement appropriate affirmative actions in order to guarantee the students an equal education regardless of their religious affiliations. Specifically, the Dignity for All Students Act prohibits their harassment while in the school facilities and executing all the related functions. However, the law prohibits discrimination of all students based on their perceived religious affiliation. The laws are particularly aimed at protecting the interests of the Muslim teenagers who face direct discrimination from the top political class. The law states categorically that one from five Muslim girls face physical abuse due to their religion (Carnes, 2016). For example, the Muslim females are forced to undress, to reveal their body parts, especially their face. Some of these policies have successfully reduced discrimination against the students based on their religious affiliations. However, the vice has increased dramatically, especially during the period following the Paris attacks and the famous political events during the US presidential elections. The presidential candidate, Donald Trump, campaigned for the deportation of all the Muslims living in the country. The aspirant directly attributed the American woes to the Muslim community.


Discrimination against the Muslim girls in Chelsea, Harlem and Brooklyn is increasing dramatically. The possible causes of the rapid rise in the incidences are due to political decisions that require immediate deportation of all Muslim immigrants in the country. In addition, the stereotype depicting the Muslim population as a terrorist community is contributing significantly to the vice. The management tools utilized by the New York government have both strengths and weaknesses. First, the recent guidance to the district schools by the New York State Educational Department can deal with the problem (Chandler, 2016). For example, the above guidance provides all the documented policies from the state to the federal level aimed at enhancing equality of education for all the students. Moreover, it compiles a list of frequently asked questions, from which the students can infer.

However, the directive lacks the will and capacity to fight the problem of discrimination against the Muslim girls. Although the guideline has provisions for discouraging the vice, the document requires detailed instruction regarding discrimination against Muslim girls aged between 12-18 years. The teenagers are most affected due to their dressing codes, in which they hide the part or entire body parts, including the faces. On the other hand, the Equal Educational Opportunity program and, more specifically, the Dignity for All Students Act, has various strengths and weaknesses (New York City Commission on Human Rights, 2003). For example, the guideline supports and offers equal learning opportunities to the Muslim girls aged between 12-18 years in New York. In addition, the program protects the student from bullying. However, it has persistently failed to block the infiltration of politics into the classroom. Consequently, the political affiliation has penetrated the most schools in New York leading to well-documented cases of discrimination against the Muslim girls, which remained unpunished. Therefore, despite the existing policies and management tools aimed to prevent and mitigate the problem, it is necessary to accomplish them and use in the fight against discrimination of the teenage Muslim girls.

Results and Discussion

According to the current research, it is apparent that functioning of several factors independently or together contributes to discrimination against the Muslim girls aged between12-18 years in Chelsea, Brooklyn, and Harlem. First, the parents of the most students are the main contributors to the problem associated with the Muslim girls in Chelsea. The parents fail to teach and guide their children regarding the importance of diversity in the educational centers. Second, the laxity of the school administration in implementing the already established regulations to deal with the cases of discrimination is contributing to the discrimination against the minority of Muslim girls aged between 12-18 years. In compliance with Fine & Sirin (2008) research, most of the parents who participate in the school boards are of the white origin, thereby arguing their cases in favor of the white children who are the main perpetrators of the vice. Third, the political factors resulted in the increased discrimination against the Muslim girls in Brooklyn. The recent presidential campaign, in which the politicians have argued about the deportation of Muslim community, has caused discrimination against the minority of groups. According to Moftah (2015) observation, the recent terrorist attacks, conducted by people of Muslim origin, have significantly contributed to the cases of vice. Consequently, the people stereotype this population as terrorists. The above mentioned actions are not favorable for the Muslim females, and many students claim that the girls may hide bombs under their cloths. Furthermore, the Muslim girls suffer from prejudice due to the terrorist activities, which have resulted in loss of lives and property of the US citizens. Consequently, the people consider them dangerous and demand their deportation from the United States. Finally, the government agencies bear responsibility for the increased cases of discrimination against the Muslim girls. Although the state, national and the federal government have introduced the policies aimed at deterring the vice, they do not provide sufficient control over their implementation. Consequently, discrimination against the Muslims girls continues with complete knowledge of the government agencies in Chelsea, Harlem, and Brooklyn.

However, discrimination has contributed to adverse effects on the teenage Muslim girls in the middle and high schools in the three cities. First, it has impacted negatively on the students concentration while executing the classwork leading to poor test performance. The effects of bullying by the male majority students contribute to the loss of focus while in class due to the raised fear of being regarded a delay, hence not fully participating in the educational process. Consequently, such students are remaining behind the curriculum and fail to do their homework as well as other assignments. The result is poor performance in the examinations. Second, discrimination against the Muslim girls has contributed to the increased cases of dropout from the educational institutions in these three neighboring cities. Physical confrontations, bullying, and victimization have caused the students to leave their schools in order to avoid further abuses or demeaning. Therefore, most of the girls remain uneducated, which translates to poverty among the Muslim community living in the Chelsea, Harlem, and Brooklyn. Third, constant mockery by the schoolmates has contributed to low self-esteem and lack of confidence. The inability to engage in fruitful discussions and social interactions with the other students has led to poor socializing skills among the teenage Muslim girls. Due to permanent cases of teasing, name calling and bullying by the males, the girls have developed low self-esteem and confidence. Hence, the students cannot participate in the discussion forums, sports and other extra curriculum, involving the other students. Fourth, discrimination has caused hatred directed towards other teenagers. In compliance with the New York City Commission on Human Rights (2003) observations, Muslim girls are likely to develop hatred, especially towards male students who reveal their body parts without their consent. Therefore, it is popular among the girls to reject and hate their schoolmates who touch them or behave inappropriately. Finally, discrimination against the Muslim girls has contributed to the overall poor performance, which permanently worsens, according to the Brooklyn educational statistics. Consequently, only few students manage to enter the higher institutions of learning such as the colleges and universities.

It is possible to reduce significantly the cases of discrimination against the Muslims girls. First, equal treatment of all the students, regardless of their religion in the class, can facilitate the reduction of the vice and ensure that the Muslim girls have equal participation in the classroom activities. Giving the same opportunities to all the students can significantly decrease the advance, hence fostering the Muslim girl education. In addition, the related actions can create a favorable learning environment, ensuring that the girls have equal or even better capabilities than their counterparts. Thus, the students can contribute to innovations and inventions, hence introducing positive changes in the society. Second, offering training opportunities to all students can help reduce discrimination and allow interactive environment in the three neighboring cities mentioned above. The process can transmit valuable information about cultural diversity in schools, hence educating the majority of students on the importance of minority groups in the same school. Thus, most students can learn to be accommodative of their Muslim girls, hence providing favorable environment to study and learn. In addition, the advance can ensure a culture of tolerance as well as allow the student to develop together as a unit. Third, invoking the state, national, and federal legislation aimed at reducing discrimination acts can help reduce the prejudice against the Muslim girls. Most of the cities, including the New York, have to adopt appropriate measures to curb the adverse impacts of discrimination. Therefore, if the government and the school administration can assist in enforcing the rules, the cases of prejudice can rapidly decline, hence providing an adequate learning environment for the Muslim girls. Finally, sticking to the admission criteria can help ameliorate the given problem in Chelsea. The corresponding advance will ensure that the students with nearly similar capabilities are admitted to the schools. Consequently, all the students will have equal opportunities, hence contributing equally to the class discussions. Therefore, the teenagers will not consider themselves superior to the others based on the color of the skin or religion. Thus, the cases of prejudices are likely to decline rapidly, thereby allowing the teenage Muslim girls in Brooklyn, Harlem, and Chelsea to perform correspondingly in the educational establishments.


Following the research about the discrimination against the Muslim teenage girls, there are following recommendations how to reduce the adverse impacts of prejudice. First, the government should revise the curriculum in order to incorporate the subjects aimed at educating the students on the adverse effects of discrimination not only in schools, but also in the community. The subjects should be examinable and carry a significant portion of the total pass mark. The advance will ensure that all the students obtain the exact information about the existence of people with different characteristics. Second, all the schools should involve black parents into the school boards in order to ensure free and fair participation in the disciplinary committees. Finally, the city government should seek the strategies in order to ensure that all the Muslim girls report incidences of the discrimination to the relevant departments without fear of retaliations.

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