Hijab-Wearing High School Student Misidentified As 'Isis' In Yearbook
An 11th-grader shown wearing a hijab in a school photo was misidentified as "Isis Phillips" in the yearbook at Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga, sparking anger and calls of Islamophobia for the oversight.NBC L.A reports that the teenage girl posted a picture on her Facebook page and wrote:
I am extremely saddened, disgusted, hurt and embarrassed that the Los Osos High School yearbook was able to get away with this. Apparently I am "Isis" in the yearbook. The school reached out to me and had the audacity to say that this was a typo. I beg to differ, let's be real.
Her real name has not been released, because she and her family do not wishto address the media themselves yet, as a friend told ABC-7. It is also unlikely that she will return to school until "the issue is resolved appropriately" because of the stress and embarrassment it's caused, according to a press release issued by CAIR-CA today.
Attorneys with the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Los Angeles Chapter are currently investigating the incident, according to a Facebook post. They say that this is not the first Islamophobic occurrence to happen at the school recently. In today's press release, CAIR wrote:
We join with the family in their concern about a possible bias motive for this incident and in the deep concern for their daughter's safety as a result of being falsely labeled as a member of a terrorist group. No student should have to face the humiliation of being associated with a group as reprehensible as ISIS.
After the student's post calling out the yearbook picked up steam on the internet, the yearbook posted this on Twitter, apologizing for "mis-tagging" the student.
Los Osos High's principal Susan Petrocelli also issued an apology:
The thing is, this seems like more than a simple "misprint": replacing a girl's name with "Isis" is not the same as mixing up "Brian" with "Bryan." Trevor Santellan, one of the students who worked on the yearbook, told ABC-7 that earlier in the year, there was a student named Isis Phillips at the school, who later transferred, which could explain the "misunderstanding." But conflating a girl named Isis with a girl wearing a hijab is a very bad look.
Islamophobia, especially when geared towards women wearing hijabs, has been a big problem in Los Angeles lately: two awful incidents were publicized just in the last week. In one, a Long Beach woman is suing the police department for forcibly removing her hijab. And in the other, a group of Muslim women, six of whom were wearing hijabs, are suing Urth Caffe for allegedly kicking them out of the restaurant because of their religion.
According to a report published by CAIR-CA last year, 55 percent of California Muslim students have been subjected to religion-based bullying, twice the national average of students who have reported being bullied at school.