CAMBRIDGE, Md. – A Dorchester County mother says it could be a matter of life or death when it comes to her son and problems with school bullying. Mother of three, Fouzia Safadi, says for months she’s been trying to work with Cambridge South-Dorchester School leaders. Over the course of nearly six months, Safadi says not much has changed.

“It hurts me so bad to see my son that changed a lot. He’s like someone else,” Safadi said through tears. “He’s not the same boy.”

Safadi says the bullying started in late January. Her son, then a freshman at the high school, called her to come pick him up. He said he didn’t feel safe.

“He had finger marks on his face and on his neck as well,” Safadi said.
Safadi says the bullying got worse. The classmate harassing her son also called him Islamophobic names like “suicide bomber” or “ISIS.”

School leaders and staff, Safadi says, did little to help, downplaying the situation and failing to inform her of even more bullying.

Zainab Chaudry with the Council of Islamic-American Relations (CAIR) says they’re now stepping in, condemning school leaders for failing to protect Safadi’s son.

“This pattern of behavior has been deeply disturbing,” Chaudry said. “(The school system) seems more invested in protecting themselves than doing right by students.”

In a statement to WBOC, Superintendent Diana Mitchell wrote: “As the parent has refused to discuss the matter with Dorchester County Public Schools and is now working through an attorney, the matter has been referred to our attorney.  We are unable to comment due to student privacy laws.”

Meanwhile, Safadi says she’s looked into moving out of the state or homeschooling her son, but says it’s nearly impossible as a single mother.

Chaudry says they are planning to meet with school leaders to help improve the situation and hopefully implement future policies for anti-school bullying.

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