Ganna Abdelreheem

Sophomore year, a boy pulled my hijab off. I felt targeted, but I had also seen another girl’s hijab getting pulled off by the same person. I was so hurt, but I just stayed quiet.
— Ganna
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We say that America is a free country. 

But how is it free if different races are being treated differently? Black people being treated different just cause of their color of skin, gay people treated differently because of who they love,  Muslims being called terrorists. 

I’m Muslim. I was called “ISIS girl” freshman year in Spanish class and all the teacher did was call the boy’s parents. Do you think that he changed? He didn’t change. He still gives me looks and calls me names till in the halls. 

The harassment impacted my grades. I started cutting class so I wouldn’t see the guy. Before the harassment, I used to do all my work, get high scores on assessments, but that all changed because of that one comment. It made me lose interest in my grades. All I cared about was not having any contact with him.

I complained to my counselor and told her I couldn’t be in the same class as him. She told me that it was too late in the school year. I couldn’t have any schedule changes, but she made sure not to put me in any classes with him through my high school term. 

Sophomore year, a boy pulled my hijab off. I felt targeted, but I had also seen another girl’s hijab getting pulled off by the same person. I was so hurt, but I just stayed quiet. I fixed my hijab and continued on with my day.

Tens of thousands of New York City students are Muslim. We face constant teasing and bullying especially after the incident that occurred on 9/11/01 

I want more guidance counselors and school therapists that can help talk to people like him. Maybe they have trouble at home and they need to talk to someone and let it out. People that are getting bullied need an adult they can reach out to. Teachers should be talking about bullying in classes, take some time out of class to help prevent bullying from happening.