Group Decries Assault in School



An Islamic advocacy group is claiming that four boys assaulted a 12-year-old girl at Congress Middle School because she was wearing an Islamic head scarf.

The boys confronted the girl in a school hallway, yanked at her hijab, or head scarf, pulled her hair and hit her across the mouth with a leather belt, said Altaf Ali, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil liberties group based in Washington.

The boys also called her "Osama" and made other derogatory remarks, and they threatened more attacks if she told school officials, Ali said.

The girl, who is of Pakistani heritage, enrolled in the seventh grade at the beginning of the school year. She was "very traumatized" by the incident, Ali said.

She had experienced several similar but less violent incidents at school, but school officials took no action, he said. The girl's mother does not speak English, and her father is out of the country, he said.

"What is alarming is that when she informed her teacher, the response from the teacher was, 'Kids are like that,' " he said.

Ali said that Congress Middle Principal Kathy Harris told him that the incident was being investigated but would not give more details.

Harris could not be reached for comment...

 


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