FOR THE EDITOR:
I have been a resident of Midland for over 2 decades. My husband and I raised 4 children here; 3 are graduates of Midland Public Schools and the fourth is in elementary school. Being a Pakistani-American Muslim in a predominantly white Christian city has been a growing and developing experience for myself, my family, and the MPS staff and administrator with whom I have interacted.
All children want to feel safe at school. Beyond safety, children want to feel like they belong. And for us, as a Muslim family, this development of a sense of belonging is a work in progress. It’s not easy to be the only child in primary school who doesn’t celebrate Christmas or Easter. It’s not easy being the only high school girl who chooses to wear the hijab (head covering) as a symbol of her devotion to her faith.
Children want to belong. There is enormous peer pressure to conform.