WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — Two brothers at Williamsville East High School are on the verge of getting kicked out of school for fighting.
But they, their parents and their attorney say the teens are being forced to defend themselves against anti-Muslim bullies, whose constant ridicule has been going on for years.
And just this weekend, the bullying moved from the school yard to their front yard, when their house was vandalized.
“You don’t know if someone is going to come up behind you or come right up to you and say something,” said Adam Siam. “You always have to watch where you are, what you’re doing, who’s around you. You always gotta have a watch out.
Adam and Jameel Siam, a sophomore and junior, respectively, have attended Williamsville schools since preschool.
The Siam’s are Muslim, and all but the teens’ father were born in America.
But for the past two years, Adam and Jameel say they’re constantly looking over their shoulder, fearing the next insult or punch slung their way. That’s led to repeated fights for the brothers. And now they face expulsion.
“I was bullied for Osama bin Laden, I’ve been called a terrorist,” Jameel Siam said. “We’ve been called terrorists, go back home and make bombs in your basement, or you’re going to come back and shoot up the school. And, it’s just like, people kept pushing our buttons.”
After more threats on social media last week, the Siam’s Williamsville home was pelted with eggs and rocks, leading to broken doors and windows.
The Siams have filed at least two reports with Amherst police; one in December after a fight, and another this weekend after their house was vandalized.
“I go to school, and I start off my day, like it’s going to be an OK day,” Jameel Siam said. “And every single time, I have to look around me to see if everything is OK. I can’t live a normal life now, especially how they came to my house. It’s not only at school that I need to be afraid, it’s that I have to be afraid everywhere I am now.”
Adam and Jameel’s mother says she’s pleaded with the district to step in.
“This has been festering for years now,” Rehab Siam said. “They’ve never looked into the whole serious issue.”
Rehab Siam said action by administrators could have prevented the fights that led to expulsion hearings for her sons. The hearing with Williamsville’s superintendent was scheduled for Monday. It has since been pushed back.
“We’re born and raised in America, me, my children,” she said. “So, for us to be looked at like we’re less than everybody else is pretty sad.”
Jameel says he’s lost focus.
“When I go into school, all I hear are these racial comments,” he said. “It just keeps pushing my buttons where I don’t focus on my studies anymore, I focus on my safety.”
Williamsville Superintendent Dr. Scott Martzloff said the district doesn’t discuss student disciplinary matters.
“The District takes harassment, bullying, insensitive or intolerant behavior very seriously,” he wrote in a statement issued to News 4. “We are committed to prevention, and are continuously focused on outreach and education for students, families and staff. We remain vigilant and respond immediately to any and all violations of our code of conduct. Any behavior that compromises our commitment to a safe and caring school environment is unacceptable.”
Amherst police said Monday their investigation is ongoing.