American Muslim student's hijab 'pulled off' in attack at high school
A New Jersey high school student was arrested this week after pulling off a Muslim student's hijab during a fight, according to the Middlesex County's prosecutor's office.
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The student got into an altercation with the other student over a seat in one of East Brunswick High School’s common areas, according to local news channel WNBC.
One of the girls pulled off the other's hijab, or headscarf, shouting anti-Muslim slurs at her.
The school's security guard rushed to stop the fight, but video was captured and posted on social media.
"The East Brunswick Public School District values our diverse student body and community," East Brunswick Public Schools Superintendent Victor Valeski wrote in a letter obtained by WNBC.
"The district does not tolerate any incidents of bias, discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying and takes swift action if such an event occurs."
Valeski reportedly said the altercation was deemed a bias incident and immediately reported it to the East Brunswick Police Department and Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office said the student who pulled off the girl's hijab was charged with simple assault, harassment, cyber harassment and disorderly conduct.
The student was not named due to her juvenile status.
Hundreds of parents and community members filled the school board meeting this week, with many outraged over the fact that the Muslim student who had her hijab pulled off was also suspended as well, due to the school's zero tolerance policy against any kind of violence.
"Students in this state have a right to safety and security while on school premises, and it is the duty of faculty and administrators to ensure that right," said Jim Sues, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' New Jersey chapter.
"Bias incidents, violence and cyber bulling such as was witnessed in this case should never be tolerated, and the laws that protect our citizens from these offenses should be strictly enforced."