Last spring, school boards grappled with the practical issues that came with welcoming thousands of new Syrian students: finding them desks, pencils, books.

But as they gear up for this school year, Muslim organizations hope they can turn their attention to another problem: warding off the dirty looks — and worse — that many Muslim students say they get at school.

Schools have wrestled with Islamophobia since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 but there was never intense educator interest in combating the problem, said Amira Elghawaby, communications director for the National Council of Canadian Muslims.

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