Through a review of educational research literature this piece explores how federal politics and policies have trickled down into secondary schools, and what the effects of these policies have been on secondary schools, paying particular attention to the effects on Muslim American youth. The main research questions are: What federal and state policies, specifically those constructed as measures of ensuring national security, have affected secondary schools? What are the effects of this policy on Muslim American youth? What pedagogical practices can be changed to engage these youth in active citizenship-in a post 9/11 context- for meaningful inclusion and participation in their societies? This review will critically examine the USA PATRIOT Act, a federal law designed and implemented after the terrorist attacked of 9/11, with the aim of understanding how the law has contributed to the growing national anti-Muslim sentiment. Findings suggest that this law has contributed to the over-targeting of Arabs and Arab-American families and students, and has had damaging effects on their educational outcomes, psychosocial well-being and sense of nation and belonging. Additionally, findings suggest that laws framed around securitization are constructed around problematic ideologies that lie beneath dominant and main-stream discourses around Islam.