Only 72% of Muslim students reported feeling comfortable telling others they are Muslim, down from 77% in the 2017 report.
Children who are harassed and mistreated at school have a higher risk for anxiety and depression, said Nadia Ansary, an associate professor at Rider University in New Jersey who studies discrimination and bullying of Muslim youth.
A state law authored by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, requires school districts to adopt procedures by the end of the year to prevent bullying, including cyberbullying.
To comply with that law, Assembly Bill 2291, the California Department of Education posted online an anti-bullying training module that schools must offer to teachers and other employees who have regular interaction with students.
“In the era of Trump and abhorrent attacks on our immigrant communities, the fact that 40% of Muslim students have faced bullying is extremely troubling, but not surprising," Chiu said in a statement. "Moving forward, we will be monitoring this issue and working with advocates to see what steps can be taken to make sure all students feel safe and welcome at school.”
Nationwide, 20% of students ages 12 to 18 report being bullied at school for a variety of reasons such as race, appearance, sexual orientation and religion, according to 2017 data published by the U.S. Department of Education.
Figures from the California Department of Education show about one in three students in middle and high school report being bullied for any reason. The data was collected from 2015 to 2017, the most recent available.
CAIR's survey covered the Greater Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento Valley, Central California and San Francisco Bay Area regions.