A New Jersey teenager was arrested after she allegedly pulled off a Muslim student’s hijab during a fight over a seat.
The East Brunswick High School student, whose name and age wasn’t released, was involved in a confrontation with the Muslim student when both students wanted the same seat in a common area on campus, reported NBC4 New York.
According to a letter from Superintendent Victor Valeski, the fight escalated when one of the girls pulled off the other girl’s hijab and started screaming anti-Muslim slurs.
In a viral video from the incident, the white teen can be seen beating the Muslim student until a school security officer breaks up the fight.
The student who pulled off the girl’s hijab was arrested and charged with simple assault, harassment, cyber harassment and disorderly conduct, Middlesex County prosecutors told NBC reporters.
Although the superintendent acknowledged this was a “biased” incident, he didn’t mention the possibility of hate crime charges being filed.
“Ultimately, the fight was determined to be a bias incident and was immediately reported to the East Brunswick Police Department and the County Prosecutor’s Office in accordance with Board Policy… and the law,” Valeski wrote in the letter, which was obtained by NBC4 New York.
“The East Brunswick Public School District values our diverse student body and community,” Valeski wrote. “The District does not tolerate any incidents of bias, discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying and takes swift action if such an event occurs.”
As part of the school’s zero-tolerance policy, both girls, as well as the boy who posted the video to social media, were suspended.
On Thursday, hundreds of students and parents showed up at a school board meeting to discuss the incident.
Many of the attendants expressed outrage that the Muslim student was also suspended.
"Why is she being suspended for defending herself?" one student asked, according to NBC.
The boy who filmed the video said he and his mother felt his suspension was also unfair.
"I got in trouble for it because I guess it's against the school rules, but... at the end of the day I did the right thing," the boy told News 4.
Police are continuing to investigate the incident.
(Photo: CBS 2 New York)
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